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This Just In ...

Kevin Fischer is a veteran broadcaster, the recipient of over 150 major journalism awards from the Milwaukee Press Club, the Wisconsin Associated Press, the Northwest Broadcast News Association, the Wisconsin Bar Association, and others. He has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for over three decades. A longtime aide to state Senate Republicans in the Wisconsin Legislature, Kevin can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, "InterCHANGE," on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10, and heard filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, and their lovely young daughter, Kyla Audrey, in Franklin.

Super Bowl...

Here we come.  Is there any doubt? Plenty. Let’s see how the new Golden Boy stacks up against that Tennessee defense this week.

Received the following e-mail from a loyal reader, David M:

The contract the Packers gave Rodgers proves again to me that Favre was never going to be a Packer this year.  He called their bluff and reported.  They spent three days talking him into leaving and he folded.  Maybe he really wanted to leave all along.  I glad he did.  Sometimes it’s better to fold.  If he were here he’d just get all the blame for the losses and no credit for success.

He got treated like crap by the TT administration.  They’ve wanted him gone for years.  They were ecstatic when he retired.  How long did it take for them to plan on retiring his jersey on opening night? 

I just hope Rodgers continues to play well.  Thanks to people much smarter than you or I, he is all we have.”


AARP, his name is Rick H-O-R-O-W-I-T-Z

If you missed InterCHANGE last night on Channel 10 (what’s wrong with you?) then you missed the final two minutes of the show, the weekly trashing of Republicans by Rick Horowitz. Last night’s bit may have sunk to a new low.

Horowitz, an unabashed liberal, attacked John McCain because….he’s over 70. Practically called him senile. Given that this was Horowitz’s last opportunity to suck up to Barack Obama on camera before Election Day, I sensed some nervousness in such a thoughtless analysis. Is this the best you’ve got? Don’t vote for McCain because he in his 70’s? Oh, wait. I forgot. The left is that warm, fuzzy bunch.

After what John McCain has been through in his life, I’m sure that even in his 70’s, he could handle a dozen Rick Horowitz’s with one hand tied behind his back.

FINAL NOTE: Using Horowitz's flawed logic, shouldn't this guy....

Ted Kennedy

have retired a long time ago?

Recommended reading

Recommended reading

Here are, in my view, outstanding columns from the past week that I highly recommend:

Wisconsin needs to slam the door on voter fraud: La Crosse Tribune

Don't fall for another promise of tax relief

Reject health care referendum

Why it's still a race

8 reasons Obama might not win

Notorious Obamedia moments of 2008

ACORN's ties to Obama are extensive

Former hostage asks us to do the right thing

Obama's redistribution Constitution

Have you heard from Cory the Driller?

America is still #1



A look back at the people and events that made news the past week.
Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...


J.B. Van Hollen

Karrie Davis and her son

Jorge Orozco-Sanchez

Albert Pujols

Honor Flight

Elizabeth Roess


Quentin Patrick

Australian teenagers

Steven Davey

Archie Anglin

Waukesha principal

Diane Wilkerson

John Toplikar

The Foxtail Lounge


(Citizens) have a right to vote in fair elections, untainted by election fraud. The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that every citizen’s right to vote in a fair election is protected.”
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announcing that the Department of Justice will send 50 assistant AGs and other agents to polling places on Election Day to “ensure compliance with state laws governing elections.”

“I've been very reluctant to say this up 'til now, but this step has been another part of a very obvious Republican strategy that is directed at trying to raise questions about the vote. I have no idea what authority he claims he is operating under, and I hope the people of the state understand they should go to the polls and they should vote.”
GovernorJim Doyle, a former attorney general, criticizing the Republican AG for his decision to send prosecutors to the polls.

“I've never said that (I won't accept an offer). I mean I've never had a president of the United States call and ask me. But I will say this -- I do believe any such possibility is very remote. It's not what I want. I really look forward to being governor of this state with a president that is really working with us.”
Doyle on whether he'd join an Obama administration if Obama wins Tuesday.

“It’s not the strategy that I would like. I would have done a lot of things differently. That’s not worth talking about. They weren’t done. You never look back in politics. You look forward.”
Former presidential candidate and GOP Governor Tommy Thompson criticizing the McCain campaign again over its Wisconsin strategy. Thompson insisted McCain could still beat Obama despite trailing in current polls.

“I take full responsibility for my actions. I apologize to my victims, my wife and my family. I regret the hurt I've caused them.”
Former Milwaukee Alderman Michael McGee, before U.S. District Judge Charles Clevert Jr., sentenced him to six-and-a-half years in prison for his federal conviction on charges of bribery, extortion and attempting to avoid reporting requirements on a $15,000 transaction. He was also ordered to pay $107,433 in restitution.


Judge's ruling on the homeless.


Wisconsin Democrats, led by Jim "let them cheat" Doyle are up in arms that Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen plans to send as many as 50 state agents to monitor polling places on Election Day. Not a peep out of this bunch 4 years ago when Peg Lautenschlager dispatched Election Day observers to the polls.


Right through to the final week, the media's orgasms over Obama, and the public knows it.


Try to steal this McCain sign and you'll get ZAPPED!!!!!!!

Will trade sex for Obama tickets

REMEMBER: Your suggestions/nominations for any of these categories every week are welcome, especially for HEROES OF THE WEEK. If you know of anyone in the community deserving of recognition, please e-mail me.

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot

: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.

TODAY:  Sunny, dry all day, but cooler than Friday. "B"

SUNDAY:  Cloudy and cool with showers by mid-afternoon. "C"

Last week I needed to take a break from the Barking Lot because I was getting ready to host a Halloween party for friends and family.  Kevin was kind enough to fill in for me for the entire blog.  I desperately wanted to write more about Ratchet so now is my chance.

Actually I didn’t want to write much more about RATCHET, per se.  I wanted to write about all the cold-hearted, animal-bashing, anti-soldier, anti-war, “give peace a chance” commenters on the Save Ratchet blogs.

As you know, Ratchet is home safe and sound in Minnesota, waiting for Specialist Gwen Beberg to return there as well.  The reunion is sure to be a tear-filled and tail-wagging series of happy yelps and lots of licks.  I wish them all the best.

Baghdad Pups, sponsored by SPCA International, is the group responsible for bringing Ratchet home.  Ratchet is not their first success story and will hardly be their last.

Reading just a few comments from people was enough to make my blood boil.  (Hmmm…  probably all warm, compassionate lefties that Kevin talks about!)  Here are two:

“Nice ending but....

It's amazing to see the energy and expense dedicated to this once stray animal. How many children in Iraq are living off the garbage piles and are still overlooked?????

Plenty of people, from “regular citizens” to major celebrities, are finding ways to help the orphans of war.  No one is saying that children should be forgotten!

“Waste of Funds

If you really want to make a difference, adopt a starving child from Iraq. The money SPENT on the flight, fuel, etc. to bring a PUPPY to the U.S of all things??? Come on man...

Echoing my own feelings, many people wrote in to “defend” all the trouble taken to reunite Ratchet and Gwen.  Not to mention the fact that expenses were covered by private donations and Northwest Airlines donating the commercial flights!

“Sooo Sorry for you people

Wow, What a shame that our species have no compassion for other living creatures! I'm so glad that a soldier found compassion in a poor animal that was suffering and brought it home! Come on America, get with the program. What is happening to our species!

I agree!  Unless we have served our country, we have no right to talk about what is a waste of resources to help our soldiers.

“It's not just about the puppy

This story deals with the difficult situations our soldiers have to deal with in Iraq and the silver lining this soldier in particular was able to find. Maybe Ratchet will help Gwen adapt back to everyday life in Minnesota. Maybe not only a puppy was saved, but also a soldier's sanity.

I fully agree with that comment.  Often, our soldiers are not getting all the help they need when returning from duty. 

Other comments included the feelings that if these soldiers want a pet so badly why don’t they adopt one here in the states when they return home?  HELLO!!! Not the point!!!  The pets the soldiers bond with overseas help get them through daily hell and horror that we can’t even begin to imagine.  Dreaming of the day they can come home and head to their local pet shelter is NOT what we are talking about.

When Ratchet and Gwen’s plight gained international attention, M.A.R.S. Safe Haven posted a petition for Clemency for Ratchet on the Care2 petition site.  Their goal was to collect 10,000 on-line signatures.  By the time Ratchet made his way to the states, a total of 69,870 signatures had been posted!

Nearly 70,000 soldier-supporting, animal-loving people signed a petition to bring home ONE DOG for ONE SOLDIER.  Now, who are the true WARM AND COMPASSIONATE ones???
---Jennifer Fischer

Thank you, Jennifer! I knew there were lots of good reasons I married you!

My turn now as we present DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made


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Ted Thompson does it...


Another bad move.

GB vs. Tenn: Something's got to give

From the Nashville Tennesseean:

"Since the NFL realigned its divisions in 2002, the Titans are 16-9 against the NFC. That includes a 7-2 mark in the past nine games, and one of those was a 30-17 rout of the Vikings in Week 4. The Packers, meanwhile, have won their past five meetings with AFC teams."

Tennessee is 7-0 and their defense is super tough.

Franklin still alive

Franklin beat Milton in an offensive shootout at Franklin today, 44-28 in the WIAA Division 2 football playoffs. Franklin now advances to play Verona. Verona edged Waterford 28-27. The 3rd round game between Franklin and Verona will be played either next Friday or Saturday at a site TBA.

Congratulations, and GO SABERS!

UPDATE from FranklinNOW

Developing: State Senator Lena Taylor arrested

BadgerBlogger broke the story.

I know Senator Taylor. I happen to like her, but I never, ever agree with her. She is a mini-Gwen Moore. Has emotional tendencies where she cries at the drop of a hat or goes into temper tantrums. If she created a scene at a polling place, I wouldn't be surprised. Taylor appeared with me last weekend on Channel 10's InterCHANGE program.

This could get interesting.

UPDATE: Taylor NOT arrested, but briefly detained by MPD.

Judge shoots down GOP's 1st amendment rights

Tell me again that there's no double standard when it comes to the GOP.


Journal Sentinel gets it right

I don't get to say that very often, but it's true in their editorial about Milwaukee's sick pay referendum.

Hawaii: Obama's birth certificate OK

I've always felt this has been a phony issue that sidetracked the discussion away from far more important issues. It's late, but can we finally forget about this?

If you missed John McCain on SNL...

The opening sketch

Backstage clips

Gee, how does it feel, Barack?

is pretty small potatoes compared to what the press puts the GOP through.

The One will make a helluva President if he can't handle this kind of stuff.

My most popular blogs

Most popular

As I post every Sunday, here are the top five most popular of my blog entries from the previous week:

1) Photos of the Week (10/26/08)

2) What happens when a journalist asks a Democrat tough questions?

3) Dirty tricks in the Democrat playbook

4) Steve Olson tells it like it is

5) Culinary no-no #84

Photos of the Week (11/02/08)

Photos of the Week

Skinhead Plot

This undated photo obtained from a MySpace webpage shows Daniel Cowart, 20 of Bells, Tenn. holding a weapon. Federal agents have broken up a plot to assassinate Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill. and shoot or decapitate 102 black people in a Tennessee murder spree, the ATF said Monday Oct. 27, 2008. In court records unsealed Monday, federal agents said they disrupted plans to rob a gun store and target a predominantly African-American high school by two neo-Nazi skinheads. The men, Daniel Cowart, 20, of Bells, Tenn., and Paul Schlesselman 18, of West Helena, Ark., are being held without bond. (AP Photo)

Pakistan Quake

A Pakistani girl eats her meal next to her tent after an earthquake in Ziarat, about 130 kilometers (81 miles) south of Quetta, Pakistan, Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008. Soldiers handed out blankets, tents, jackets and sleeping bags to earthquake survivors in the frigid mountains of southwestern Thursday as the death toll rose to 215. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

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What's with those Bucks uniforms?

Not only are the Bucks a bad outfit, they now look bad.

Journal Sentinel photo

The unis remind me too much of the dreaded Chicago Bulls, and I hate Chicago teams. From what I've heard, the red jobs are only going to surface once in awhile. I say dump them permanently.

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory

Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema lost his cool on the sideline Saturday during an inexcusable loss to Michigan State. Jeff Potrykus of the Journal Sentinel documents what happened in his game re-cap.

Bret Bielema reacts after getting the second of two bench penalties in the fourth quarter. Journal Sentinel Photo/Joe Koshollek

Michael Hunt of the MJS says Bielema deserves criticism after the Michigan State loss and should heap some of it on himself because after all, as Hunt puts it, "After tough losses this season, Bielema has called out a quarterback, a defensive assistant, a grad assistant and a special-teams player. Maybe if John Clay had gotten one more first down against MSU, he said. That's not what a college coach should say. That's not what Barry Alvarez did. If the AD hasn't advised his coach on this matter, he should."

Hunt adds that rsponsibility for a miserable season starts at the top: "Lose after leading by 19 to a really bad Michigan team. Lose at home on the last drive to Ohio State. Lose by 41 points at home to Penn State. Fail to show at Iowa. Lose on a 44-yard field goal with 7 seconds left against the Spartans when the game was in the bag with less than 10 minutes to go."

The Big Ten is really down this season. The Badgers had a prime opportunity to do some damage. They've been awful and probably won't go to a bowl game. I blame the coach.

Hey, how can I get a job as a Journal Sentinel sportswriter?

From the paper's "experts" today:

Views of the game

BOB McGINN: The key is Kyle Vanden Bosch. If he plays and is himself, the Packers won't do much offensively. If he sits or is limited, Albert Haynesworth can be double-teamed and the Packers can score enough to win. Tennessee's defense has an entirely different presence with the relentless Vanden Bosch.

TOM SILVERSTEIN: The Packers play pretty well on the road and got a taste of how physical the Titans are during their exhibition meeting. But if they don't get Albert Haynesworth blocked, they lose. It's as simple as that. If they start fast on offense they have a good chance to win. Packers 27, Titans 17.

GREG A. BEDARD: Right time. Right place. Not only are the Packers coming off a bye week, but the Titans have to deal with a short week and are coming off an emotional victory against the Colts on Monday night. Oh, and it's impossible for a Kerry Collins-led team to go 8-0. Packers 23, Titans 20.

MICHAEL HUNT: Even accounting for the bye, the Titans' short week and the fact that Tennessee has to lose at some point, you'd have to be pretty silly to pick the Packers on the road. Packers 24, Titans 21.

LORI NICKEL: It will be interesting to see Aaron Rodgers' arm closer to full strength and perhaps the full staff of receivers to spread the field and open up everything for Green Bay's offense. Packers 30, Titans 14

Culinary no-no #85

Culinary no-no's

By way of introduction, three points I’d like to make that are related to this week’s no-no:

1) When it comes to food, I’m not fussy. I’ll eat just about anything  (Insert crack about my waistline here). True, I have my favorites, and there’s a handful of entrée’s I probably would never touch. But I’m not finicky, and I’m actually quite adventurous, willing to sample new dishes.

2) Milwaukee has a rich, Polish history and tradition that includes some great food: pierogis, kielbasa, kapusta, paczkis.

3) I recall an episode of “Happy Days” where the great philosopher, Arthur Fonzarelli lectured his teen admirers about ketchup and ice cream. “Together,” the Fonz said was, well, awful. But apart………..AYYYYYYYYYYYY!”

Jose’s Blue Sombrero, with locations in Brookfield and Racine, advertises that it specializes in made from scratch Mexican food. The expansive menu has many of the items you’d expect. There are enchiladas, fajitas, burritos, chimichangas, quesadillas, tostadas, and, naturally, several varieties of tacos.

I’m intrigued by a new offering being advertised at the restaurants that combines the culinary cultures of Mexico and Poland. Yes, it’s the Polish taco. Jose’s takes smoked Polish sausage and sauerkraut and top it with cilantro and queso in a tortilla. I love this: they call it, “Stashoo's Polish Taco.”

Apparently, this concept isn’t new and dates back to the 1970’s. This San Antonio restaurant has its own version that has a title derived from a term used in ethnic jokes. Another Texas restaurant whips up German tacos.

The combo of smoked kielbasa, sauerkraut with Mexican cheese, to me, sounds interesting. Think about it. In a brat bun, there wouldn’t be a problem. But plop all of it in a taco shell or tortilla and some busha’s might be brought to tears.

Because I’m adventurous (although this clearly isn’t as daring as say, a plate of snails), I would be more than willing to try a “Stashoo’s Polish Taco,” and would more than likely enjoy it. But I probably won’t order it on my next visit. And therein lies the no-no.

Fischer, you say you’re intrigued, you’re adventurous, you’d like the polaco taco, but you’d never order it? Por que?

It’s like going to Mader’s and ordering orange roughy. Sure, that Polish taco is probably delicious. Jose’s is a great restaurant. But with all those yummy options, real Mexican food, I’d almost assuredly pick 25-30 other items before I’d even consider the Polish taco. This isn’t the most egregious no-no. It’s just that if I run a taco joint, I’m not putting stuffed cabbage rolls on the menu. Capiche?

Sales tax referendum: I respond to a tax and spend Milw. Co. Board member

I’ve written several blogs about the sales tax increase referendum (The vote is NO) on Milwaukee County ballots November 4th.  Milwaukee County Board members approved the advisory referendum and were able to thwart a veto by one if the few sane voices inside the Milwaukee County Courthouse, County Executive Scott Walker. And so, we have this foolish sales tax increase question (The vote is NO) on the ballot Tuesday.

When I wrote in early September on this topic, I got a response from Milwaukee County Supervisor Pat Jursik. I never responded………until now. Jursik is part of a major problem on the clueless, tax and spend Milwaukee County Board. Here is her comment on my blog from two months ago, in its entirety, unedited, just the way she wrote it, with my responses in red.

You leave so many important issues out I needed to clarify:

Yes, please do, Supervisor. You are so much smarter than me or the average voter. Explain it to me.

Our transit system is in crisis (Public Policy Research forum, an independent organization) our parks are in crisis (over $300 M of deferred maintenance, even basics such as bathrooms don't work); the paramedic program in Milw. Co. is paid by the county so cities can share this service(consolidation)is in jeopardy of being cancelled (should cities put this in their tax levy?).

Typical scare tactic ploy by the tax and spend crowd. The sky is falling and the only solution is a huge tax increase.

The referendum asks if the voters wants to restructure our current system of paying for these services by taking these three areas off the property tax levy and instead pay for them through a 1% sales tax.

“Restructure?” Don’t try to snow the taxpayers. The referendum asks if taxpayers want to TRIPLE the sales tax.

Milwaukee is the ONLY city that still pays for transit with property tax levy while all other cities pay through a sales tax;

I don’t care what other cities do. Should we emulate what Chicago does? They’ve got one of the highest sales taxes in the country, Supervisor.

Wisconsin has one of the highest property tax rates and yet one of the lowest sales taxes in the country.

Our sales tax is low.  Hello!!! That’s a GOOD THING! What the hell kind of argument is that? One of our taxes is too low, It needs to be raised????

What do we get by shifting this burden to sales tax?

“Shifting the burden.” Another smokescreen for “tax increase.”

First participation of users from out-of-county who use our transit and parks (think Harley Fest).

Uhhh, really dumb, Supervisor. The out-of-county visitors to Harley Fest aren’t using public transit……………they’re using their own Harley’s.

Secondly, real property tax relief:  the owner of a $150,000. home saves $165 in tax levy, and more importantly it reduces the tax base in Milwaukee County so that the 2% limit on tax levy will actually reduce taxes.

Oooohh, I LOVE THIS ONE! Our property taxes will go down if only we just walk into that voting booth and make the utterly stupid decision to TRIPLE our sales tax. History says otherwise. Sorry, Supervisor to combat your tax and spend hysteria with some real, honest to goodness facts.

July 2007: The Milwaukee County Board, claiming Milwaukee County needs more revenue to save the parks and transit, approves an advisory referendum calling for a one-cent increase in the sales tax. It would bring in $120 million; thus, it’s a $120- million tax increase.

1991: The Milwaukee County Board approves a .5% sales tax increase, promising it will reduce property taxes and help fund the parks, the exact promise we’re hearing today.

So what happened?

1992-2002: Following the sales tax increase, property taxes went up 55%.

1992-2002: Following the sales tax increase, tax levy support for the parks dropped. In 1980, tax levy support for the parks was 45% of the county budget. By 2000, it had dropped below 10%. (Note: Scott Walker was NOT the County Executive then. Sorry to disappoint Walker critics).

Since 1/3 of our sales taxes are collected by visitors who are out-of-county residents, amenities like the zoo which has visitors oof ver  60% from out of county while our tax payers continue to pay the burden of these services.  I haven't said much about transit, but the county has not replaced buses (instead using federal funds earmarked for replacement) for operating costs for about 5 years.  In 2010 we are looking at a 10 to 12 million deficit in transit.  Are we willing to be a county without mass transit? Or do we put all of this cost on the property levy, if so, we can forgo this referendum.  Don't forget the cost of unemployment will have its own ramifications (nearly 50% of bus users travel for employment purposes).  I have studied this referendum carefully and think any Milw. county voter who also does so will vote YES.

Targeted tax increases never go where they’re intended.

Where will any additional sales tax revenue go?

To parks? No.

To transit? No.

To pensions? Yes.

To health care benefits for county workers? Yes.

Future County Boards will not be required to use any sales tax revenue for parks or transit. Do you really trust this County Board to spend the money the way they say they would?

Let’s analyze in simple terms what the public seems to understand but some tax and spend-happy County Board members don’t.

The current Milwaukee County sales tax is:


The resolution calling for a referendum asks Milwaukee County voters to increase the sales tax by:


That would bring the Milwaukee County sales tax to:


Do the math: 1.5% as opposed to the current .5%.

That is a
TRIPLING of the current sales tax.

That’s right.

Milwaukee County Board members want to
TRIPLE your county sales tax and they think you’re stupid enough to go to the polls and willingly make the choice to TRIPLE your county share of the sales tax. This would be on top, don’t forget, of the state sales tax and the Miller Park sales tax.

These county supervisors apparently believe that our taxes in these parts just aren’t high enough and need to be raised even more, and not by just a little bit, but instead they need to be……


You also know you’re living in a tax hell when you have some yahoo’s who are downright giddy at the possibility that their county sales tax might be……….


The vote is an obvious NO on Tuesday.

Obama supporters caught in the act

My thoughts on yard signs:

1) They mean almost nothing.

2) They make the candidate feel good.

3) They make the campaign workers and volunteers feel good.

4) They are not a barometer of how the campaign is going or who will win.

5) Both sides tamper with/steal the opponent’s signs. That’s wrong and really dumb.

6) What’s even dumber is getting caught when involved in #5.

The Racine GOP has sent out the following news release:

For Immediate Release

November 2, 2008
Contact:  Bill Folk, Chairman, 414-975-3600

Obama Supporters Caught Stealing McCain Yard Signs

Burlington, WI - On the evening of 1 November, McCain-Palin Racine County Co-Chairman Josh Kuehn spotted someone in his front yard.  As he watched, the man grabbed a McCain-Palin yard sign from his front yard.

Kuehn then noted a vehicle moving slowly down his street with its lights out.  He shouted for the man with the sign to stop, but he ran off, and the vehicle drove off at a high rate of speed.  Kuehn quickly called police and took off after the thieves.  He quickly spotted the vehicle a block away, picking up his dismounted accomplice.  Kuehn followed the vehicle until police arrived and arrested the two perpetrators.  The attached photographs document the arrest.

Additionally, the Racine County Republican Party would like assistance in solving the thefts of hundreds of yard signs in the Racine, Mt. Pleasant, and Caledonia areas.  Multiple victims have provided a description of a white, late model, full size, short-bed pickup truck driving suspiciously in the area around the time of the thefts.  The Racine County Republican Party is offering a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the driver of this vehicle.

The Racine County GOP encourages those who have been victimized by intolerant Obama supporters to pick up replacement signs at our Racine Victory Center, located at 6500 Washington Avenue in Mt. Pleasant, or our Burlington Victory Center, located at 248 North Pine Street in Burlington.

The Racine GOP has sought to take the high road in this election, and offered to issue a joint statement with the Racine Democratic Party, condemning yard sign theft and offering a joint reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone stealing or vandalizing any political signs this campaign season.  The Racine Democratic Party has not responded to this offer.

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The next President of the United States

John McCain is a decent, honest, principled man who has served his country with courage, strength and valor. He is eminently qualified to be President of the United States.

His opponent hasn’t even served a fraction of the time McCain has in the U.S. Senate, and can’t point to one significant piece of legislation he’s engineered. In the Illinois Legislature, Barack Obama’s greatest accomplishment, at least numerically, was voting “present” well over 100 times. The two candidates are worlds apart when it comes to real life experience.

Obama has held a huge advantage over McCain for practically the entire campaign. Obama has been the recipient of an adoring, anything but objective press. Hillary Clinton, it turns out, was 100% accurate when she asserted that the news media didn’t vet Obama, giving him one colossal free pass. The most liberal member of the U.S. Senate, more left wing than Ted Kennedy and Barbara Boxer, rarely had his dubious record called into question by the mainstream media cheerleaders.

Historically vocal opponents of extravagant sums of campaign cash, liberal Democrats who for the longest time worshipped at the altar of McCain-Feingold, didn’t blink an eye as the obscene amounts of campaign contributions poured in to the Obama coffers. Republican money: BAD. Obama money: GOOD.

Obama has outspent McCain by a gazillion to one. His message, proliferated by his pals at ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, et al, and campaign ads are omnipresent.

Obama and the Democrats paid large amounts of cash to groups like ACORN to go out and register voters, and they’ve done just that, falsifying an exorbitant amount of voter registration drive information that will assuredly result in fraudulent voting activity.

Polls run by organizations that skew to the left, have consistently shown Obama in the lead, even though Republicans don’t cooperate in polls. The positive polls, day after day, month after month have essentially been free commercials for the Obama campaign.

Attacks by the press on McCain and his running mate, Sarah Palin, have been personal and vicious. Obama and Joe Biden have gone virtually unscathed.

Despite it all, The One, the Messiah, the greatest, most intelligent, most phenomenal candidate, the most revered individual to ever run for the White House has failed to seal the deal, and just days before Election Day, John McCain is still in it. His task is clearly difficult, but not insurmountable.

Why isn’t Obama running away with it? The American public, in the last week or two where polls are tightening, sees Obama as a fine orator. They must admit Obama speaks well (So did Bill Clinton, by the way). And there’s some intrigue about a minority finally becoming President.

But the more the public listens, the more it pays attention in the nitty gritty final days of a long campaign, the more they see Obama as a very extreme candidate, the most dangerous presidential choice ever, whether it be on taxes, redistribution of wealth, national security, energy, or abortion. Obama goes into prevent defense, planning a huge victory party and picking his Cabinet, going against the sage advice of Kenny Rogers: “You never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table.” And thus, the polls tighten.

If the polls mean anything, and they’ve been wrong a lot (just like the 2008 pundits), they show Obama with a plurality, but certainly not a majority of voters, that elusive 50%.

John McCain, on the other hand, has been pummeled by other Republicans, even friends who have questioned his campaign decisions. Red meat conservatives didn’t like his nomination and many may still not. For them, the maverick wasn’t their first, second, or possibly not even their third choice.  And yet, here he is, possibly just days away from being elected President.

John McCain, of course, is still in the race. What’s that over-used expression? It’s not over till it’s over. And it’s in spite of everything I’ve mentioned. But it’s because of all that I’ve mentioned that John McCain will not be victorious Tuesday.

A blatantly liberal mainstream media that goes about its business with no shame whatsoever.

A press that won’t heavily scrutinize Obama.

More money than God.

Voting shenanigans, and yes, there will be plenty on Election Day and not on behalf of the GOP.

Add it all up and it’s too much for even a decent man of tremendous character to overcome.

Republicans were beat January through August. Then something magical happened. McCain picked Sarah Palin. Partisan Democrats and pompous, boorish, elitist Republicans can rip Plain all they want, but until she was chosen, Republicans were hopelessly defeated, void of life. Palin was the injection the GOP needed. She energized the party and voters across America. Suddenly, Democrats were worried and started to stumble.  It appeared momentum, for the first time in this laborious campaign, was on the side of the elephants.

Then came mid-September, when John McCain lost this election. For weeks, all the talk in the press and across the nation focused on the economy, typically a Republican issue, except when the economy is in the tank and a Republican is in the White House. All American heard for weeks was that the economy was about to crumble so badly that we were about to witness the Depression of all Depression’s. The GOP’s August soufflé dropped in September. There was some life restored when Obama showed his true Socialist colors talking with Joe the Plumber and when Joe Biden said electing Obama would result in international chaos before next summer. But when the press is your security blanket, you can withstand such temporary annoyances that would have legs reaching two weeks if it were the GOP.

America is about to make a deadly mistake on Election Day. Your wallets aren’t safe. Our tax system isn’t safe. No unborn child is safe. Babies that survive abortions aren’t safe. American isn’t safe from terrorists who at this very moment are praying that Obama wins.

I will be proud to vote for a truly great American, John McCain on Election Day. It will be very close, closer than what the experts who have been wrong all year predict. But I believe the American electorate isn’t quite sharp enough to discern the catastrophe they’re asking for when it elects Barack Obama as the next President of the United States.

Are you likin' settin' that clock back?

I’m not.

The dark skies (sunset was at 4:41 today) are a harbinger of wintry weather to come.

Early sunsets are depressing. Mid-December will see nighttime on some days at 4:17.

Franklin city budget the focus tonight

The Franklin Common Council holds a public hearing tonight and then takes action on the city budget. As the budget process starts to wind down, I have some thoughts.

1) Congratulations to Mayor Tom Taylor for signing a pledge to keep the city property tax levy increase to a maximum of 3%. He took the pledge and then kept it.

2) At a well-documented meeting months ago, Franklin blogger Fred Keller, Franklin resident Scott Thinnes and I asked Franklin aldermen Steve Olson and Lyle Sohns to take the same pledge as Mayor Taylor. They declined. Sohns condescendingly (and I would say angrily) told me over and over that there was “no way” Franklin could keep the budget to a 3% increase.  Gee, I guess he was wrong.

3) Olson and Sohns did say months ago they would work to budget responsibly and have made attempts as of late to cut the budget even more.

4) Franklin Common Council President Steve Taylor reminded us today on Janet Evans’ blog that he campaigned “to control city spending.” That’s good. That’s very good. But then for the rest of his message, he criticizes colleagues Olson and Sohns for their efforts to……..control city spending! Ironic, to say the least. Olson and Sohns should be commended, not blasted. The more that want to "control city spending," the better.

5) Alderman Taylor (remember, he ran on controlling city spending) is requesting that “$15,000 be put into the Capital Improvement Fund in order to have a study done on a tornado warning siren system.” Sorry, but that’s not a good idea. We don’t have to spend a penny on any study. How’s that for controlling city spending. If the budget gets approved with the study, here’s hoping Mayor Taylor vetoes it out.

6) I could be wrong but my alderman, Kristin Wilhelm didn’t offer any ideas on how to trim the budget or control city spending. I know she was apoplectic at the thought she might lose her city taxpayer-funded monthly stipend. But, and again, I could be wrong, I didn’t hear her suggest any budget cost-saving measures. If I’m mistaken, I’m sure Kristin will call me.

7) My prediction: The city budget gets adopted tonight on a vote of 4-2. All in all, for once, this has been an exercise where the taxpayer wins with a budget that truly holds the line on spending. Could the budget have been chopped some more? Probably. But we’re on the right track, and we’ll survive. Franklin won’t be “destroyed.”

That 3% pledge, initiated by Fred Keller, served as the stimulus for campaign discussion, and then action that resulted in some tough decisions, but overall, a victory for Franklin taxpayers who’ve paid enough for a long, long time.

UPDATE on 11/4/08

Speakers up, everybody, speakers up!

On this Election Day Eve, I will have more blogs coming of a very serious nature.

But now it's time for a Public Service Announcement, and then a political music interlude from Bocephus!

Read more

Disgraceful: Catholics voting for Obama

On Tuesday, many Catholics will cast their ballots for Barack Obama. That is shameful, disgusting.

I’ve blogged previously about my outrage over Catholics rejecting their faith to vote for the biggest baby-killer to ever run for the White House, a candidate with no regard for the value of human life.

Catholic Answers Action has produced the Voter’s Guide for Serious Catholics. Inside the guide you’ll find the, “The Five Non-Negotiable Issues.”

The guide says:

“These five issues concern actions that are intrinsically evil and must never be promoted by the law. Intrinsically evil actions are those that fundamentally conflict with the mortal law and can never be performed under any circumstances. It is a serious sin to deliberately endorse or promote any of these actions, and no candidate who really wants to advance the common good will support any action contrary to the non-negotiable principles involved in these issues.

1) Abortion

2) Euthanasia

3) Embryonic Stem Cell Research

4) Human Cloning

5) Homosexual Marriage”

Note that capital punishment, that I have clearly advocated on my blog, on television and radio is not on the list. The guide says some issues are not non-negotiable and that includes the death penalty. Quoting Pope Benedict XVI when he was Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger:

“Not all moral issues have the same weight as abortion and euthanasia. For example, if a Catholic were to be at odds with the Holy Father on the application of capital punishment or on the decision to wage war, he would not for that reason be considered unworthy to present himself to receive Holy Communion. While the Church exhorts civil authorities to seek peace, not war, and to exercise discretion and mercy in imposing punishment on criminals, it may still be permissible to take up arms to repel an aggressor or to have recourse to capital punishment. There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia.”

Even before reading that, I had NO problem as a Catholic reconciling my opposition to abortion along with my strong support for the death penalty.

Meanwhile, you Catholics that are voting for Obama:



Yeh, sure Wally...

Whatever you say.

Now I'm sure these are really nice people...

I mean, just look at them...

Journal Sentinel photo: Michael Sears

But let's plug in more information. The caption under the above photo on reads: "Keith and Jana Wells of Wauwatosa (with their 1-year-old daughter, Marie) have found things they like and dislike about each candidate."

They are, as the headline reads in today's Journal Sentinel, "Informed but still undecided."

OK. There's the bunch that hasn't given a rat's behind all year and can't, like another Franklin blogger, even spell presidential, and doesn't know who to vote for. Sad. Pathetic.

But then you have another group, on November 3rd, the day before the election, INFORMED BUT UNDECIDED, that might be worse.

Good God almighty!  MAKE UP YOUR MINDS!

An Election Day holiday?

Today, MSNBC asked the question: Should Election Day be a national holiday?

The answer is NO.

A Wisconsin legislator did propose this in the previous legislative session.

Bad, bad, bad idea.

Be cool, it's almost over

Smart man. He'll probably live longer and avoid high blood pressure.

Ralph Ham, owner of Ham’s Bellevue Bar in Bellevue, Nebraska says that he avoids political discussions in his bar. (Photo: Monica Almeida/The New York Times)

Where I work, at the state Capitol, the news often paints both parties as always confrontational, always at war. On certain issues, that is the case. But we get along, especially the staff members. That, of course, will never warrant a news story. But if we can, for the most part, put our differences aside, so can you.

So, be respectful at work,  and at home.

Twas the night before the election

'Twas the night before the election,
And all through the town,
Tempers were flaring,
Emotions all up and down!
I, in my bathrobe
With a cat in my lap,
Had cut off the TV,
Tired of political crap.

When all of a sudden,
There arose such a noise
I peered out of my window
Saw Obama and his boys.

Read more

Kevin Fischer's Official Voting Guide: November 2008

  • If you don’t know when Election Day is, when it does finally arrive, please don’t vote.

  • If you don’t know where to vote and don’t have the slightest idea of how to find out where you vote, please don’t vote.


  • If you don’t know who your alderman is, please don’t vote.

Read more

I love this young blogger

He's a young Wisconsinite going to college in Minnesota, and he writes and thinks very well.

Ed Flynn=Jim Doyle

A few weeks ago, I asked if Milwaukee’s Police Chief is a closet liberal?

It’s really starting to look that way.

I repeat, this should have been done today.

Almost forgot...

Read more

And I can't forget...

Jim and his lovely wife...numero ocho

Read more

This is a great blog to watch tonight

There are tons of information options tonight. This blog has been updating all day with lots of good material. Keep refreshing for the RIGHT perspective.

Obama victory a referendum on President Bush

Barack Obama (at this hour, apparently headed to victory) will go to the White House, not because America embraced his ideologies or philosophies. Obama is the recipient of a backlash against President Bush, the Republican in charge at a time when America’s economy continues to struggle. The stark economic reality coupled with a Republican in the Oval Office was too much for John McCain to overcome. Don't for a minute believe voters were enamoured with Obama's policies. This was a protest vote.

America remains a center-right country. Exit polls today show American voters describe themselves this way:

44%- moderate



Obama is no fool. Understanding the political makeup of the electorate, Obama did what every liberal does in an election: he dipped into the lefty playbook and moved to the center, the way Bill Clinton masterfully executed his campaigns, and Obama pulled it off. In the last few weeks, the man the National Journal called the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate, more liberal than Ted Kennedy, Barbara Boxer, and Hillary Clinton advertised himself as a tax cutter. With the economy in the tank, the American public bought it.

The question now is, which Obama will we get for the next four years? Do we get the Obama on record (as liberal as you can get) or the Obama he claims to be, a tax cutter? How will he govern?

If Obama is going to be a uniter, he’ll have to somehow persuade a liberal Congress to be bipartisan. There are few, if any, conservative or moderate Democrats left. I don't see Obama urging Democrats to work with the minority. You have to go by what the man has done, not what he says to get elected. Obama’s record is extremely liberal. He will no doubt attempt to ram his liberal agenda through.

Hold on to your wallets.

John McCain didn't lose the election tonight...

He lost it almost two months ago.

In my blog a couple of days ago predicting a Barack Obama victory, I wrote about the fatal point in the campaign for John McCain:

“Then came mid-September, when John McCain lost this election. For weeks, all the talk in the press and across the nation focused on the economy, typically a Republican issue, except when the economy is in the tank and a Republican is in the White House. All American heard for weeks was that the economy was about to crumble so badly that we were about to witness the Depression of all Depression’s. The GOP’s August soufflé dropped in September.”

Daniel Gross writes for Slate that McCain lost the election on September 24, 2008:

“McCain managed to give Obama a run for the money through mid-September. The polls began to turn (decisively, it turns out) against him when the global financial system suffered a run on the money.”

Here’s the entire Slate piece.

Franklin remains red

Here are some of the preliminary results of Franklin voting Tuesday.

Voters who chose to vote straight party:

Democratic: 2,868 (41.49%)

Republican: 4,032 (58.32%)

Wisconsin Green: 8 (0.12%)

Libertarian: 5 (0.07%)

President and Vice President

Obama/Biden: 8,348 (43.35%)

McCain/Palin: 10,691 (55.51%)

Representative in Congress

Marge Krupp (D): 5,537 (30.18%)

Paul Ryan (R): 12,653 (68.96%)

State Senator, District 28

Mary Lazich (R): 13,008 (99.02%)

Write-in: 129 (0.98%)

Representative to the Assembly, District 82

Jeff Stone (R): 12,723 (99.20%)

Write-in: 103 (0.80%)

County Referendum, 1% sales and use tax

Read more


The One, the most intelligent, the most articulate, the greatest human being to ever walk the face of the Earth will take office in January. The global orgasm has already begun with TV anchors unable to control their unbridled passion and admiration. US streets have become a Woodstock love fest, minus the mud and hippie beads.  Soon the lame will walk, the deaf will hear, and the blind will see (except for Barack Obama’s relatives who will continue to live in slum or squalor conditions). All, and I do mean all is suddenly right, not just in America, but all over the world.

Watch as the Obama presidency unfolds for those incessant negative articles in the press to slowly evaporate. News stories of turmoil, chaos, grief, suffering and sorrow will no longer be the norm, they will be the exception. Here are some issues that reporters maaaaayyyyyyyyyy not cover as much after the Messiah takes the oath of office:

1) The homeless. Even with winter just around the corner, there just won’t be as many of those individuals around anymore.

2) Poverty, the economic struggles of families. They’ll be able to afford going to the movies, red meat, and an occasional dessert once again.

3) Job concerns. Man being interviewed: “I worry constantly if I’m going to lose my job.”

4) Why doesn’t the president do something about gas prices?

5) So, just who did make those campaign contributions to the president?

6) What terrorist threat?

7) The United States is just so mean to its prisoners.

8) Anti-American protests.

9) The need to be bipartisan.

10) References to the Great Depression.

11) Abuse of civil liberties.

12) The response to natural disasters.

13) Environmental problems. There simply won’t be any.

14) Any stories that use the words character, intellect, or leadership in a negative manner.

15) The war isn’t working.

16) Our crumbling infrastructure.

17) Al Qaeda remains dangerous and must be defeated.

18) Weapons of mass destruction.

19) Spying on suspected terrorists.

20) The president’s IQ.

Tuesday: Sad day for the culture of life

Wisconsin Right to Life has the details on their blog.

They're right.

This Friday on InterCHANGE

This week, a special edition devoted to Tuesday's elections.

On the panel this week, special guest Kathleen Dunn.

Friday night at 6:30, Sunday morning at 11:00 on MIlwaukee Public Television Channel 10.

If you missed InterCHANGE tonight...

A reminder, it’s on again Sunday morning at 11:00.

Ultra liberals Joel McNally and Kathleen Dunn were, respectively, not very gracious and borderline emotional.

Kathleen referred to Obama as “this president,” and all the great accomplishments he’s going to enjoy, saying Obama will be the greatest president of all-time. Oh really? Greater than Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, either of the Roosevelt’s? I thought Kathleen was going to cry any minute. Earth to Kathleen: He’s not the President yet and he hasn’t done anything yet.

Joel, in a clearly bipartisan fashion, used his time to barely say anything specific about Obama and instead trash Republicans, but accused the GOP of name-calling. Huh? Joel talked about how great the “next eight years” would be. That’s getting a bit presumptuous, wouldn’t you say? And there was this McNally gem: there are no politicians to the far left. Of course not, Joel. They're all writing for newspapers.

My friend Gerard Randall, after talking up John McCain all year, admitted that at the last minute, he voted for Obama.

It was the usual fair and balanced public television program.

Coming up on This Just In...

Saturday morning, I will post my regular weekend features. Look for:

The Barking Lot


My Most Popular Blogs

Photos of the Week

Culinary no-no

They’ll all be available Saturday because I’m taking a blogging hiatus. I will return Sunday, November 16th.

Please check back all week because while I’m gone, some great blog entries will still be featured here since I will have a special guest blogger making contributions.

Now, I suppose that during my absence, I could, oh…..I don’t know…..turn control of this popular conservative blog over to, let’s see…….

An uninformed moonbat who can’t spell.

Yeh, I could do that, I guess.

But, I know what you’re thinking.

That would be…..


take your pick…..






maybe even…..


NO, I’m not going to do a weird, dumb, stupid, unconscionable, crazy thing like that. No sir!

Because I truly care about the high quality of my blog, while I’m gone, This Just In will have one of the most influential bloggers in the entire state of Wisconsin filling in.

I know you will enjoy J. Gravelle of The Daily Scoff all next week. In fact, I guarantee it. And you really, really, really don’t want to miss what he has in store.

Thanks again J. for lending your talents (and that includes spelling).


Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, let's have some fun. It is time once again for another This Just In edition of:


Are you ready?

Well then, let’s play!

Today’s Final Jeopardy category is:


My guess is most readers are into that topic thse days.

Now, you know how this works.

In a moment, I’ll give you the Final Jeopardy clue.

You will have 30 seconds (if you play fair, that will be when the music runs out) to come up with an answer and remember, players……… your answer must be in the form of a question.


Here’s your clue.

Perry Mason, Ted Nugent, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Hulk Hogan.

Good luck! (please click)


OK, time’s up.  Today’s Final Jeopardy category is CURRENT EVENTS.

The Final Jeopardy clue was, Perry Mason, Ted Nugent, Jeffrey Dahmer, and Hulk Hogan.

The correct Final Jeopardy answer is:


Who were some of the write-in candidates on Wisconsin ballots on Election Day Tuesday.

A fascinating pop culture question

I find this very fascinating.

The Journal Sentinel carries a weekly column from “MR. MUSIC, Jerry Osborne,” who answers questions about old and classic 45’s and albums.

Recently, Osborne fielded this inquiry:

DEAR JERRY: My question is inspired by the timeless “desert island” one, but with slight variations.

Imagine you own a record store with an inventory that includes all of the world's most desirable albums.

Unfortunately, to acquire this collection, you borrowed money from gangsters at a very high rate of interest.

When you couldn't keep up with the payments, they took over the store.

But as a parting gift, they said you could take any five LPs, but no more than two by the same artist.

Which would they be, and why?
—Kenny Claybourn, Chicago

Now that‘s a great question.

To truly enjoy this particular exercise, give the question some thought. Think about it carefully. Reminisce. Bring back memories before you click on….

Osborne’s response.

Recommended reading

Here are, in my view, outstanding columns from the past week that I highly recommend:

Read their lips: And the winner cuts

Obama statements come with expiration dates

Who will run America?

Gird your loins, conservatives

Conservatism will always be a force to be reckoned with

Treatment of Bush a disgrace: What must our enemies be thinking

How to block the liberal agenda

Oliver North: Protect and defend



A look back at the people and events that made news the past week.
Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...


Michelle Felicetta

For the second time in just a few short weeks, Ken Mink makes my list.

Sean Swarner

OK, what is the plural of hole-in-one? Ask Curt Hocker.


Milwaukee's Police Chief

Marc Keyser

Winona vandals

Philip Busse


Chris Matthews


"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dreams of our founders is still alive, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer. There will be setbacks and false starts there will be many who won't agree with every policy I make as president...but I promise you I will always be honest with you."
Barack Obama delivering his victory speech Tuesday night in Chicago.

"My friends, we have come to the end of a long journey. We are all Americans and please believe me when I say no association has ever met more to me than that. Although we fell short the failure is mine, not yours.”
John McCain in his gracious concession speech Tuesday night in Phoenix.

“Barack Obama built his victory out of a concrete base of near unanimous support from black voters, layered with overwhelming support from Hispanics, young people and enough white voters to remake the partisan landscape in the United States."
ABC’s Brian Hartman

"Which Barack Obama will dominate as he begins to govern? Too much of the ambitious liberal, and he rekindles partisan squabbles he was supposed to transcend. Too much the cautious mediator who reaches across the aisle to compromise with Republicans, and he risks losing the energy and idealism that attracted millions to his candidacy."
Doyle McManus in the Los Angeles Times

"Barack Obama played above the rim. He made the difficult look easy. The larger problem for the Illinois senator, however, might be that he didn't adequately prepare the country for the extent of the problems that he will inherit as president."
Julianna Goldman and Michael Tackett in the Bloomberg News

"All that Obama rhetoric from the campaign trail about reaching across the aisle and moving past Washington's sterile partisan warfare -- indeed, Sen. Obama's very portrayal of himself as a new and different kind of national leader -- will be put to the test immediately,"
The Wall Street Journal’s Gerald Seib

"What remains unclear, however, is whether Tuesday's results represent a vote for liberalism or against the failures of the Bush administration, including the early war years in Iraq, the calamity of Hurricane Katrina and the current economic slump,"
The Wall Street Journal’s Jonathan Weisman and Laura Beckler

"While the Alaska governor avoided speculating on a future White House bid in recent interviews, she made it clear that she intends to remain an important player within the party. And the national following she has developed among the conservative faithful over the past couple of months provides her with the sort of political and fundraising base that could support a run."
Juliet Eilperin in the Washington Post

"I love you both more than you can imagine, and you have both earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House."
Barack Obama to daughters Sasha and Malia

"2012, 2012, 2012."
Chants from the crowd as Sarah Palin posed for photos after John McCain's concession speech.


Yes, the money you gave your church may have supported our new abortion President.


Barack  Obama has selected Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of Staff, but there's more........and more.


Obama's victory was historic, no question. But the media was falling all over itself, in tears of joy (CBS's Harry Smith). They didn't report Obama's victory, they celebrated it, and will not challenge or scrutinize his administration the way they did George W. Bush, not even close.


You won't find this at Victoria's Secret.

REMEMBER: Your suggestions/nominations for any of these categories every week are welcome, especially for HEROES OF THE WEEK. If you know of anyone in the community deserving of recognition, please e-mail me.

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot

THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.

TODAY:  Rain, snow showers, windy, and cold.  "F"

SUNDAY:  Flurries, cloudy, cold.  "F"

It is amazing how many human-like qualities dogs can have.  Dog owners often talk about their dog’s personality.  Have you ever heard a dog snore?  My Basenji was as loud as a person, no question!  I don’t think I have to explain “dog breath.”  Puppy breath is another subject entirely…  I love the sweet smell of a new puppy’s breath.  But once it changes to ADULT dog breath, there is obviously no going back!  Of course there are occasional bouts of gassiness that dogs can suffer from, just like their owners.  Never a pleasant scent.

BUT… have you ever taken a bubble bath or a long steamy shower and come out smelling worse than when you went in?  Impossible!  So how is it that Fido can be out in the rain for five minutes and come in smelling like he just visited the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District???!!!  Well, a scientific answer is offered by  

Why do wet dogs smell so much worse than dry ones?

The essence is that the wet dog hair emits the following volatile compounds: dimethyl trisulfide, phenol, p-cresol, mushroom (1-octen-3-ol), fruity (2-nonanone), floral (â-damascenone), and earthy smelling (2,3-diethyl-5-methylpyrazine) odors, and branched or complex aldehydes (2, and 3-methyl butanal, isobutanal, 2E-octenal, acetaldehyde, benzaldehyde, phenylacetaldehyde, 2E-nonanal).

There are many odoriferous compounds which individually do not have odors associated with "dog smell." However, in combination, these compounds produce the typical "dog smell" that many people describe as unpleasant. There is a complex pattern of changes in the volatile compounds associated with wetting of brushed dog hair.

This pattern appears to manifest as "wet dog" odor. While some amount of change in odor would be expected due to the different partition coefficients when water is added to the hair, the variety of differences indicates a probable chemical or biochemical reaction on the hair. Simply put, wet dog hair stinks because of the chemical reaction of the dog hair to water.

OK, so now we know WHY Rex reeks.  How can we change what Mother Nature blessed us with?  There are a few options.  The Dog Channel maintains that doggies dryers  are the answer.  Is your Daschund all dried out but your room has that lingering eau de soggy doggy?  The Farmer’s Almanac suggests a simple home remedy. 

o, what if you live in a climate as dry as Arizona and still have a stinky Schnauzer?  The problem could certainly be more than a damp coat.  You may have to investigate and try a few options before you find the perfect solution.

Mickey, the Soft Coated Wheaton Terrier that lives up the street from me, gets her paws dried off with warm towels when the weather turns foul this time of year.  Perhaps that is an option you can explore as well.  After all, Kevin gave the dog-walking forecast for this weekend a big, fat “F” for both days.  Try to have a nice stroll with your Shih Tzu, a pleasant walk with your Weimaraner, a lovely trot with your Terrier.  Just take your umbrella!
---Jennifer Fischer

Thanks, Jennifer! 
Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week. As I've mentioned in the past, unfortunately, the news isn't always good. There are mean, cruel people in the world who abuse and even kill innocent pets. Thank goodness they're caught, and punished.

Yes, there are real attack dogs in politics.

Now for some really good news. What a feeling, the joy of freedom!

Dogs and turkeys, oh my!

If you have a sick child or know someone who does, please read this.

Here's one campaign promise Barack Obama better keep.

Another week, another naughty dog.

And you thought the election was over!

And we close this week with video of Barney, President Bush's dog, and what happens when a reporter (liberal perhaps?) gets too close...

Read more

My most popular blogs

Most popular

As I post every weekend, here are the top five most popular of my blog entries from the previous week:

1) The next President of the United States

2) Kevin Fischer's Official Voting Guide: November 2008

3) Disgraceful: Catholics voting for Obama

4) Franklin city budget the focus tonight

5) Photos of the Week (11/02/08)

Photos of the Week (11/08/08)

Photos of the Week


Barack Obama addresses the crowd at an election night celebration in Chicago's Grant Park. Journal Sentinel photo: Kristyna Wentz-Graff

 U.S. Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) speaks during his election night rally with his wife Cindy (R) and vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin in Phoenix, November 4, 2008. From Reuters Pictures by REUTERS.

U.S. Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) speaks during his election night rally with his wife Cindy (R) and vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin in Phoenix, November 4, 2008. Photo: Reuters

Read more

Culinary no-no #86

Culinary no-no's

The rain is falling,

The winds are swirling.

And cold, mighty cold.

It's a perfect time for.....


I live in a quiet, humble subdivision in the quiet, humble city of Franklin, or as I like to call it, "God's country."

For all the booming growth this quiet, humble city has seen since I first moved in, it's still pretty.........quiet and humble.

A rockin', happenin' place, it's not. And maybe that's ok. My guess is many people enjoy the solitude. Let me tell you, there are many times I think Max Sass is the mayor.

Take summertime. The sidewalks, as my late father used to say, get pulled up around 7:00, no later than 8:00.  Are people outside? Not if they don't have to be. Houses locked up tight. Lights off. Backyard patios? Oh, Franklinites got 'em. They don't use them, but they've got 'em.

Warm weather is grilling season. So when it's warm, that would be spring, summer and fall, I grill. A lot. It's that manly rite of passage. Fire, smoke, sizzling meat. Yet up and down my neighborhood, when I grill, all summer long, no one else is barbecuing. My neighbor across the street, maybe once or twice, but only if ten carloads are over.

Now the calendar says November and winter is in the air. Sunset is early, before 5:00. If my house catches on fire at 4:30, no one, I mean not a doggone soul will know. Drag the Weber out for a nice grilled steak? Are you crazy???

I grill all year round. It's why God invented the garage and spacious driveways. He did it for grills. This is so dumb. A guy will grill outside Lambeau Field with the snow coming down, but won't grill at home with all the comforts of home.

Franklin, and anyone else petrified of grilling after Labor Day, may I suggest you be adventurous. Be a rebel. Toss on the charcoal. Light away. Brats soaked in beer. Burgers. Steaks. Chicken. You name it. In November, December, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, Jnauary, February. All year grilling!

Afraid of the cold? Get a stopwatch. I use it to time the cooking while I'm in the house yelling at whatever football game is on television.

Did you hear that, Ethel? That Fischer guy has lost his briquettes this time.

He's telling us to pull out the barbecue..........when it's less than 80 degrees.............after 5:00.

Why, the next thing you know, he'll be pushing for one of those nasty Target stores.

You know good a lobster tail tastes on the grill for shut-ins on December 31st?

Don't be wimps. Grill out. Today. Tomorrow. Next month. All year.

Not grilling because its' not summer is a culinary no-no.

Gone Fischerin'

I'm gone for a week. The gifted and talented J.Gravelle of The Daily Scoff is next. He's your guest blogger through next Saturday. I'll be back Sunday, November 16th.

Public School Parasites

Guest Blogger:  J. Gravelle
of the Daily Scoff

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Your "To Do" List

Guest Blogger:  J. Gravelle
of the Daily Scoff

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Never "Too Late" to Kill a Killer

Guest Blogger:  J. Gravelle
of the Daily Scoff

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Pulp Friction: Another Right-Wing MJS Columnist?

Guest Blogger:  J. Gravelle
of the Daily Scoff

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The Dark Side of the Farce

Guest Blogger:  J. Gravelle
of the Daily Scoff

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Camp Obama

Guest Blogger:  J. Gravelle
of the Daily Scoff

After the election is a heckuva time to start looking at the details of Obama's various plans for "change".

That's kind of like reading the ingredients in the cereal box WHILE you're eating the cereal:  "Mono-hydro-what?  Guar gum?  What the--...?"  By this point, it's way too late to avoid the chemical additives and preservatives; they're already in our system.  All we can do is learn about them, and watch for side-effects like high blood pressure and loss of personal liberty.

So now we read about His O-liness' plan to draft our children into conscripted public service.  Yes, it truly IS a plan for "the Obama Youth" movement, and it's potentially no less nefarious than its historical counterpart from the 1940s.

If you're like me, when you see a charismatic, cult-like figure vying to infiltrate the hearts and indoctrinate the minds of our youth with collectivist propaganda, you probably like to write a song about it.  I know... who doesn't, right?

So here, with my profound apologies to Allan Sherman (and for that matter, Ponchielli) is Camp Obama:

Hello Father
Hello Mama
Here I am at
Camp Obama

Camp will be made
That's according to
a recent headline story

Did you know I'd
get recruited?
Just like back when
Hitler's Youth did?

I'll be programmed,
I'll be tested,
   and if I fail
you'll prob'ly be arrested

Tell me Dad
and tell me Mommy:
Why'd you both
elect a commie?
Did you think
that it was just a lark
when he'd quote
from Karl Marx?

Tell me Mom
and tell me Father:
Why'd our foun-
-ders even bother
to re-bel?
If Jefferson were here
he'd say
"Dude, what the hell?"

Wait a minute
I hear bootsteps...
Kids are learning
learning goose steps!

It's the end of
our great nation;
Was it worth it all
for discount medication?

Yes, I do have it recorded.  And no, I'm not going to make you listen to it. 

If you think my politics are intolerably abrasive, I'm pretty sure you wouldn't survive my singing...

Special Co-Guest Blogger : Senator Joe Biden

Guest Blogger:  J. Gravelle
of the Daily Scoff

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Three Decent Area Schools ... Out of How Many?

Guest Blogger:  J. Gravelle
of the Daily Scoff

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MATC Ya Later

Guest Blogger:  J. Gravelle
of the Daily Scoff

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Guest Blogger:  J. Gravelle
of the Daily Scoff

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The Tolerant Left

High School Girl Gets Death Threats From Obama Supporters for "McCain Girl" T-Shirt

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A Sticker Situation

Guest Blogger:  J. Gravelle
of the Daily Scoff

FRANKLIN, WI [ STORY : ]  In Minnesota, crooked Democrats (you'll pardon that redundancy) are still frantically stuffing the ballot boxes with bogus "Franken" votes.
In Milwaukee, self-annointed Democrat "testers" double voted with impunity.
In Philidelphia, Black Panther Militia members answered the call to serve as intimidating Democrat poll watchers, while our local specialized Metro police force charged with polling place oversight were ordered to stand down and give fraudulent voters free reign.
Meanwhile, on the mean streets of Franklin Wisconsin,  polling places ran out of "I Voted" stickers.
Things have to change if we expect to survive the 2012 presidential election without chaotic pandemonium erupting in our streets.

For God's sake, people... order enough stickers next time...

Gravelle wants us all to get along. That might mean some of us have to go away though...

Countdown to Kev

Guest Blogger:  J. Gravelle
of the Daily Scoff

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My Type 'o Typo

Guest Blogger:  J. Gravelle
of the Daily Scoff

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Swing and a Miss

MJS Columnist Rejected ... the Count is Oh and One

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Thanks, Sierra Club

Guest Blogger:  J. Gravelle
of the Daily Scoff

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Drinks Are On Me

Guest Blogger:  J. Gravelle
of the Daily Scoff

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Bravissimo, J. Gravelle!

My sincere thanks to J. Gravelle of the Daily Scoff for lending his wit and fine writing talent to This Just In the past week….. I greatly appreciate his contributions to help make this a quality blog.

Apparently, his provocative style had some people having hissy fits. Nice job, J.!

I also congratulate my friend for being named a Community Columnist for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Every once in awhile, that paper, whether it realizes or not, makes a good move. More of my thoughts about J. at MJS in a later entry.

Again, thanks to J. for all his hard work and to everyone who stopped by to check J. out during my hiatus.

My most popular blogs

Most popular

As I post every Sunday, here are the top five most popular of my blog entries from the previous week:

1) Photos of the Week (11/08/08)

2) Public school parasites

3) Culinary no-no #86

4) Gone Fischerin'

5) Your "To Do" list

Recommended reading

Recommended reading

Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns from the past week that I highly recommend:

The polls show that Reaganism is not dead

Fifteen questions for people who say the GOP should become more moderate

Paul Ryan: Leaders needed to use courage to fix finances

Obama: Listen to entrepreneurs

The lesson of Obama: The recipe for success is not achievement, but cunning

Sarah Palin saved GOP from landslide defeat

Democrats in Wisconsin: Not going anywhere?

Former WTMJ News Director bares all about talk radio.........and the Charlie Sykes response.

Radical homosexuals trample a cross, harass a grany, crash a church, and threaten Joe the Plumber's life

The soldier's code my mother keeps

A hero returns

My good friend and colleague, state Representative Mark Gundrum (R-New Berlin) returns home tonight from his deployment in Iraq. Mark told me before he left that he hoped to be home by Thanksgiving, and I and many others are happy that he is, indeed, home for the holidays.

My apologies for the short notice, but friends, supporters and well wishers are asked to welcome Mark home tonight at the entrance to Concourse D at Mitchell International around 6:00. Mark will be on a Midwest Express flight from Atlanta.

State Senator Mary Lazich blogged about Mark back in July and shared some great photos.

Welcome home, Mark, and thank you for serving our great country!

Photos of the Week (11/16/08)

Photos of the Week

 President George W. Bush meets with President-elect Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House November 10, in Washington, DC. This is the first visit to the Oval Office for Barack Obama before he is sworn into office as President of the United States. First lady Laura Bush also took soon-to-be first lady Michelle Obama on a tour of the White House as the President and Mr. Obama walked along the colonnade to the Oval Office where they will have a meeting. On January 20th Obama will be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States.

President George W. Bush meets with President-elect Barack Obama in the Oval Office of the White House November 10, in Washington, DC. This is the first visit to the Oval Office for Barack Obama before he is sworn into office as President of the United States. First lady Laura Bush also took soon-to-be first lady Michelle Obama on a tour of the White House as the President and Mr. Obama walked along the colonnade to the Oval Office where they will have a meeting. On January 20th Obama will be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States. (ERIC DRAPER, THE WHITE HOUSE) 


 APTOPIX Space Shuttle

Space shuttle Endeavour lifts off from pad 39A at the Kennedy Space Center, Friday Nov. 14, 2008, in Cape Canaveral, Fla.. Space shuttle Endeavour's seven member crew is on a mission to the International Space Station. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)


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Mark it down, Obama and I are simpatico

At least this time.

The President-elect supports a playoff system for college football. So do I.

If we can have a playoff for women's lacrosse, then there should be a playoff for Division I football.

Barack Obama discusses college football tonight on CBS' "60 Minutes."

Barack H. Obama, "H" as in, hypocrite

I just couldn’t end the day with only one blog about Barack Obama, and one that actually agrees with the guy. No way.

Earlier this year, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that Obama was in support of charter schools BUT he was “skeptical of private school vouchers.”

Then in July, Obama addressed the NAACP’s annual convention, promising he would not “walk away” from American public schools like John McCain did.

“What he’s offering amounts to little more than the same tired rhetoric about vouchers,” said Obama about McCain. “Well, I believe we need to move beyond the same debate we’ve been having for the past 30 years when we haven’t gotten anything done. We need to fix and improve our public schools, not throw our hands up and walk away from them.”

During the final Presidential debate in October, Obama blasted McCain’s support for the school-choice program in Washington, D.C. that gives 1,900 lower-income students a voucher worth up to $7,500 to attend the private school of their choice and that McCain wanted to expand to include more students.

“The centerpiece of Senator McCain’s education policy is to increase the voucher program in D.C. by 2,000 slots,” Obama said. “That leaves all of you who live in the other 50 states without an education reform policy from Sen. McCain. So if we are going to be serious about this issue, we’ve got to have a president who is going to tackle it head-on, and that’s what I intend to do as president.”

Lo and behold, Obama will soon be President, and while public schools are good enough for almost everybody else, they’re unsatisfactory for wealthy elites like the Obama’s.

Reminds me of all those public school teachers who send their kids to private schools.

Can you say, “hypocritical”?

Never use Donovan McNabb as your lifeline

In late September, 2003, Rush Limbaugh said this about the media’s treatment of Philadelphia Eagles QB Donovan McNabb:

"I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. They're interested in black coaches and black quarterbacks doing well ... McNabb got a lot of the credit for the performance of the team that he really didn't deserve.''

The comments got Limbaugh bounced from his role as an analyst on ESPN. Some pundits, swallowed up by the double standard that exists for conservatives, pulled out their customary ace, the race card, calling Limbaugh a racist. Seems that term could be said about McNabb, and I’ll throw in the adjective, “stupid” as well.

McNabb, like many professional athletes, has openly expressed his jubilation about Barack Obama’s victory. The Philly QB, it turns out, had never voted in any election until this month when he, being a registered voter for the first time in his life, voted for Obama. McNabb will turn 32 years old later this month, and he has never registered or voted in his life, that is, until a black man had a shot at the White House., a New Jersey news site called McNabb’s announcement, “a stunning admission from a man of influence with a history of civic responsibility.”

This shouldn’t be taken lightly. Many blacks and whites fought long and hard for the black vote, and McNabb never considered this right and privilege important enough, until skin color was a factor.

I call that racist. I also call it far less than intelligent. But that should come as no surprise. McNabb isn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Every year, the NFL issues an IQ test to high college draft choices expected to play in the league. It’s called the Wonderlic. It’s a 50-point exam with the average score being 19. Quarterbacks average in the mid-20’s. Difficult it ain’t.

Donovan “I never voted until Obama” McNabb scored a 14. To avoid embarrassment, he should never go on this TV show.

The Absurd Report writes:

“How about this for a complete racist and asinine statement from Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb. Good ol’ Donovan said that this election was the FIRST time he had ever voted and the only reason he did vote was due to the fact that a ‘Black Man’ was running and had a chance to win. What if some white athlete had made a statement regarding not wanting Barack Hussein Obama to be elected because he was black. Reckon the media would have made a little something over that?”

Yep, I reckon. And if you criticize the genius McNabb, YOU’RE the racist.

McNabb sure didn’t do himself any favors, except with guilty white liberals.

So, McNabb makes a racist comment. He’s not very bright. And Rush Limbaugh was right; the guy’s overrated. Hell, he couldn’t even beat Cincinnati today.

Care to take a sample test that McNabb only scored a 14? Here it is.

If you call state Senator Mary Lazich's office this week...

The odds are your call will be answered by the sweet, humble, kind, considerate, warm-hearted (you think I’m going to mention myself here, don’t you?) all-knowing, multi-talented and I’m pretty sure ambidextrous Tricia Sieg, the 8th Wonder of the World.

If you should call the office this week, Tricia will pick up the phone on the ¼ ring and with the voice of the angels, rose petals falling softly with every syllable, Tricia will melodiously say:

“Good (morning/afternoon), state Senator Mary Lazich’s office…how may I help you?”

For a brief moment, you will be overcome with excitement that I was right about what it would feel like to talk to Redgranite’s finest, Tricia Sieg, and you may find yourself speechless. Don’t let that happen. When Tricia says:

“Good (morning/afternoon), state Senator Mary Lazich’s office…how may I help you?”…
 then you say… 




Tricia is nice, very nice. She’s a proud Wautoma high school grad and her Hornets are playing for the Division 4 state football title.

At the state capitol, we follow details like state championships religiously. If Franklin and Waunakee would have won last weekend, they would have played each other, and I would have placed a friendly wager with Waunakee grad Jen Esser, a staffer with state Senator Alan Lasee who, by the way, guys is an incredibly great catch. Her office # is (608)266-3512.  Oh well. As the Cub fans have said for the past 10 decades, maybe next year.

So, to repeat, if you call our office this week at 608-266-5400, and a heavenly female answers, don’t say, “hello,” say:




Culinary no-no #87

Culinary no-no's

This week’s installment of Culinary no-no includes the following elements, in no particular order:

1) That great philosopher, Arthur Fonzarelli

2) Sendik’s

3) Felix Unger, or anyone who has his identical characteristics

4) Cryptosporidium

5) Oprah Winfrey

OK, let’s begin. Follow along carefully.

Having been, and still dabbling in, the radio-TV business, I understand the concept of teasing the audience. You’ve seen and heard this practice a million times:

“Women who fall in love with their stalkers…on the next Oprah.”

Local TV news departments are experts at teasing:

“Christmas toys that kill coming up on the 10:00 news.”

Brief, shocking, right to the heart.

Sometimes, I believe them (having written a few gazillion myself), sometimes I don’t. Hmmmm……

When I was News Director at WTMJ Radio during the crypto outbreak, the station actually ran public service announcements about the importance of washing your hands after going to the bathroom. I kid you not. I think there was a staff meeting about doing on-air warnings about looking both ways before crossing busy streets.

Remember the TV series, “Happy Days"?

Sunday, Monday, Happy Days…..

I recall an episode when an incredulous Richie Cunningham was at the supermarket and he ran into Fonzie pushing a shopping cart. The wide-eyed Richie couldn’t believe Fonzie was placing canned goods into his cart. The Fonz chastised his red-haired friend, asking him if he thought little elves left bags of groceries at his door.

Then there’s Jerry, my friend who dines by himself at Meyer’s in Greenfield. When seated, he pulls out some handi-wipe and cleans off the table and chairs before sitting down. He hates even the slightest mess.

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A cool blue Yule



Elvis has a new Christmas CD out called, “Christmas Duets,” that features Elvis and some of today’s stars through the magic of technology singing together.

One of the tracks has country star Martina McBride collaborating on Elvis’ holiday classic,
“Blue Christmas.”

TODAY shows us the corresponding video of Elvis in the round on the set of his ’68 Comeback Special, joined by the lovely McBride.


It's November...NO GRILL FOR YOU!

Culinary no-no's

In Culinary no-no #86, I wrote that you shouldn’t stow away the charcoal grill just because summer is gone. Some places, you have no choice. It’s a case of you will not grill, or else.

I received an e-mail from a faithful reader who lives in the Timber Ridge apartments at 20th and Rawson in nearby Oak Creek.  He writes:

I had a grill on my apartment balcony from the time I moved-in in 2000 until last spring when the owners outlawed it.  I used it all year.  Last week I see a notice posted by the mailboxes.  They’ve decided that the BBQ season is over and no one can even store a grill on the property after today.  I understand a grill on a balcony could be a problem even if there hasn’t been a problem in the thirty or so years this place has existed.  What is the problem with someone having a grill outside a ground level apartment where it will be covered with snow for the next five months?  When I moved in we could have a charcoal grill on the balcony.  Now we can’t even have a grill out in the (large) yard in the winter.  It’s a mini nanny state. I really miss my grill.

I empathize and feel his frustration, and might juts have to extend an invitation the next time I roll out my Weber. One could argue that those are the rules and that if the occupant wants to live there, the occupant must obey. However, just because someone has the authority and power to establish a rule doesn’t necessarily mean the rule is good. The Timber Ridge policy is a bad policy.

Let them grill!

How bad can it get in Tax Hell, USA?

In some communities, the value of homes went down, but property taxes went UP.

We are messed up.

From the state of WI to Franklin schools

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau is reporting that the Franklin Public School District will receive $17, 821,509 in general school aid from the state for 2008-09. According to numbers I could find, that’s about 2.6% increase from last year and amounts to just under $4600/student, and that’s not counting funding from city of Franklin taxpayers.

The increase in aid comes at a time when the state is not just broke, it’s in deep debt.

Still, there will be those in the public school intelligentsia who will whine and gnash their teeth that this isn’t good enough. And you know what? For them, it never will be.

Announcer whispers softly: "The password is....quota"

While filling in for Charlie Sykes in the 90’s when I was working at WTMJ, the topic was tickets issued by law enforcement.

A caller identifying himself as a sheriff’s deputy from an unnamed jurisdiction was adamant that officers had no quota system and that any such suggestion was ridiculous. A later caller who also identified himself as a sheriff’s deputy couldn’t contain his laughter, ridiculing the previous officer and asserting that, of course there are quota systems with deputies out on the roadways given clear instructions not to return without X amount of tickets issued.

One would expect any self-respecting chief or sheriff to deny quotas exist, even if the claim is met with side-busting guffaws. Monona Mayor Robb Kahl isn’t about to hide anything. He WANTS to add an additional police officer to go out and ticket, and ticket, and ticket, and ticket some more, with the extra officer paid for by the volume of additional speeding tickets,

Remember, times are tight. Responsible locla units of government may wnat to hold back on tax increases. So revenue has to come from somewhere.

This is a horrible misuse of manpower. Hizzoner ought to be ashamed of himself for his brazen attitude. And Monona motorists, please slow down. Make the mayor and the city budget appropriately.

Lower gas prices are bad: CBS

You can't make this stuff up.

Great news for Wisconsin parents and their children

Another weapon against the bad guys.

Target vs. Wal-Mart: Who wins?

You, the consumer, that's who.

Democrats in control of Legislature already fighting

One would think that if a particular political party was in control of the governor’s mansion, the state Senate, and the state Assembly, that their members wouldn’t squabble. But we’re talking about Wisconsin Democrats.

Years ago, when Chuck Chvala ran the state Senate, he got into some legendary and public verbal fisticuffs with state Senator Gary George of Milwaukee. What’s happening now isn’t nearly as dysfunctional, but it’s noteworthy.

Let’s start with the Assembly. No Milwaukee Democrat was elected by his peers to a leadership position in the lower house of the Legislature. Democrats have already selected their scapegoat, Pedro Colon of Milwaukee, and they’re talking about it. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist Dan Bice has the details in the second item of his latest piece.

Over in the state Senate, Democrats, apparently clueless as to the struggling economy and Wisconsin’s looming multi-billion dollar state budget deficit, are adamant about reintroducing their $15.2 billion government health care program, the largest tax increase in the history of America. They stubbornly plan to do so even though their own governor opposes the outlandishly expensive plan.

And then there’s the latest dustup involving state Senator Fred Risser. No one has been a state lawmaker in America longer than Risser. No matter your politics, you’ve got to have a soft spot for the Madison octogenarian. He deserves respect, and yet he’s being dissed by his own party.

Risser has been a fixture on the State Building Commission. He even has the state judicial building across the street from the state capitol named after him. Risser wants to remain on the Building Commission.

He may have been around longer than anyone else, but Risser is not the Senate Majority Leader. Russ Decker is. Decker decides who serves where, and Decker has decided the kindly old senator is off the Building Commission. Risser isn’t happy.

Seems Risser wants to push once again for a statewide smoking ban, an idea that Decker opposes. This isn’t tough stuff to figure out. Decker’s spin is that there should be a younger senator placed on the Building Commission to gain valuable knowledge. Using that flawed logic, Risser shouldn’t have been Senate President as often as he has.

Here’s the story.

No, I’m not happy with the lay of the land in the Legislature. But those wacky Democrats will certainly provide me lots of material.

We love Obama, oh yes we do....

The Media Research Center has compiled quite a list of quotes demonstrating the collective orgasm the mainstream media had covering and discussing the Barack Obama campaign. Here are some blatant examples:

Case Closed
"Media bias largely unseen in U.S. presidential race"
— Headline over November 6 Reuters dispatch claiming no liberal tilt in favor of Barack Obama.

New President = New Rules
MSNBC’s Chris Matthews: "You know what? I want to do everything I can to make this thing work, this new presidency work, and I think that-"
Host Joe Scarborough: "Is that your job? You just talked about being a journalist."
Matthews: "Yeah, it is my job. My job is to help this country....This country needs a successful presidency more than anything right now."
— MSNBC’s Morning Joe, November 6.

Moderator Gordon Peterson: "Are the mainstream media bashing the President unfairly?"
Newsweek’s Evan Thomas: "Well, our job is to bash the President. That’s what we do."
Inside Washington, February 2, 2007.

The New and Improved U.S.A.
"This nation woke up this morning changed. As one columnist put it, America matured in 2008 by choosing Barack Obama."
— Anchor Brian Williams on NBC Nightly News, Nov. 5.

"When was the last time our nation cheered this much?... ’We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union’ — that’s what the Constitution says. Last night, all across America, for so many people, that’s how it felt. A more perfect union."
— CBS’s Byron Pitts on the November 5 Evening News.

Our New Prince of Hope
"Some princes are born in palaces. Some are born in mangers. But a few are born in the imagination, out of scraps of history and hope....Barack Hussein Obama did not win because of the color of his skin. Nor did he win in spite of it. He won because at a very dangerous moment in the life of a still young country, more people than have ever spoken before came together to try to save it. And that was a victory all its own."
Time’s Nancy Gibbs in the November 17 cover story.

Chris Won’t Pull Any Punches
"It was Hollywood. It was romance. It was realism. The technical quality of it, the production values were perfect, the way they timed going to live, the biographical material. But most important, the connection with the average person in the economic turmoil we face right now I thought was fabulous....Everything was just right....You’d have to be a tough customer not to be touched by it."
— MSNBC’s Chris Matthews moments after his network aired the half-hour Obama infomercial, October 29.

Here's the complete list.

Jump starting the state's economy

Wisconsin's economy is in pretty rough shape. Before the end of the week, we'll have a better grip on how close Governor Doyle is to his predicition that the state budget defciit is around $5 billion.

Tax and fee increases are NOT the way to fix our budget crisis or our economy. The Wisconsin Institute for Leadership has issued the following news release that outlines some solid suggestions on how to get Wisconsin back on its economic feet again:


WIL Calls for Economic Stimulus Package
Wisconsin Institute for Leadership Says Immediate Action Needed to Boost State 

[Madison, Wisc..] The Wisconsin Legislature should immediately pass a series of economic development proposals to stimulate the state's economy, according to the Wisconsin Institute for Leadership.

"Before any expensive new government programs are contemplated, and before the State comes to individuals and businesses for even more taxes, the legislature and the Governor should pass these common sense economic development measures to stimulate the free market in Wisconsin," said WIL Executive Director Brian Fraley.

 WIL says Wisconsin should:

¨      Stop the Grey Drain and keep assets in our economy by completely eliminating the tax on retirement benefits for Wisconsin citizens over the age of 65
¨      Encourage investing by doubling the Angel Investment Credit limit
¨      Reward risk by providing inducements of in-state reinvestments of capital gains
¨      Get the government off the backs of law abiding business by passing public nuisance law reform
¨      Create jobs by lifting the nuclear power moratorium
¨      Help small businesses by allowing Health Savings Account tax deductibility
¨      Restrain state spending by launching a website which lists all agency expenditures over $100 within 15 days.

"The first rule of holes is that when you find yourself in one, stop digging," said Fraley. "So the first order of business for the new legislature is to rein in state spending and state agencies that stifle growth. And we should be encouraging investment and rewarding risk in order to shore up our economy here at home."

About WIL: The Wisconsin Institute for Leadership is a state-focused independent advocacy organization that works to educate and mobilize Wisconsin residents on policies that expand individual liberties, encourage free markets, promote high quality education and demand accountability from public officials. For more information, visit WIL's website: and participate in the free grassroots WIL Forum at

Earlier this year WIL created a YouTube video listing the thousands of jobs lost in the first 7 months of  2008. The piece also bemoaned the fact the Governor was looking for his fourth Commerce Secretary in four years. The video can be watched here:

WIL also ran an 'obituary' in the Wisconsin State Journal on Labor Day to mourn the departed jobs and call for leadership on the Wisconsin economy. That ad can be
viewed here:

Inner city insanity

How screwed up is this family?:  The mother gives a gun to her 16-year old son who then uses it to shoot three people.

Unconscionable anywhere else in Wisconsin. Just another day in Milwaukee’s inner city.

This morning, Milwaukee’s mayor and police chief stood with police officers at a news conference, announcing the hunt was on for the mother and son. Mayor Tom Barrett gave a strong statement, asking the mother to turn herself and her son in, and if they didn’t, the officers alongside him would find them before the day was through. 

Watch the Fox 6 News video.

Prepare for the usual litany of excuses along with misplaced blame:

1)       We have too many guns.
2)       There aren’t enough jobs.
3)       There’s nothing for teenagers to do.
4)       It’s society’s fault.
5)       There aren’t enough government programs.
6)       Schools need more money.
7)       We’re too racist.
8)       These people need help, not punishment.

To be blunt, it's all a bunch of garbage.

No need to overanalyze this case. Want to point fingers? Start with Mother of the Year and violent son. Throw in the breakdown of the family, a total lack of respect for life or fellow man, and the simple fact that there just are evil people in the world. They need to be punished, not coddled.

Then, of course, there’s this little matter that no one wants to talk/do anything about.

Dear Kevin, I have a question...

May I make a suggestion for Photos of the Week?


An adoring fan who thinks you're the greatest legislative aide/TV pundit/radio talk show host/blogger/married guy on the planet

OK. At least the question was legitimate.

The answer is YES!

I get suggestions about blogs more often than you might think. Please, your suggestions about Photos of the Week, or any of the categories on Week-ends are always welcome. I've also had ideas sent to me about Culinary no-no. I appreciate your patronage and your thoughts and ideas. Keep them coming.

Pie in a bag faces a challenge

OK, take a look at these. Who makes the best? 

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Greenfield plods along on sex offender proposal

All around the state, local municipalities are buzzing, excited about implementing an ordinance similar to those already in effect in Franklin that limit where released sex offenders can live or congregate. Over 30 have either passed or are seriously considering adopting the common sense, child protection measure that has passed constitutional muster.

And then….


The southeastern Wisconsin city of…..


Just imagine….

A character from Winnie the Pooh….




Plodding along…..










Greenfield’s reaction:


Let’s think……

And think……

And think about it some more….

One of the Greenfield aldermen doesn’t like the idea.

He makes all kinds of public statements in support of sex offenders as opposed to Greenfield children and their parents.

And then what does that alderman do?


Hello, I’m Tom “let the pervert live where he wants to live" Pietrowski. I’m running on the pro-sex offender platform and I want to be in charge of the entire city. Please vote for me and take a sex offender out to lunch. And have a nice day.




Whenever this ludicrous idea of trying to make your community’s most vulnerable citizens, its children, safe from sex offenders comes up, you can always count on opposition from the following: state bureaucrats. They sit at a desk in Madison, miles away from the community they’re dictating to.

I’ve seen it before. The Department of Corrections says this can’t be done because there are no guarantees, etc, etc. And sometimes, the locally elected officials nod like lemmings and think, oh my God, if some Colorado professor who wrote a study doesn’t like this, why should I?

These are the same state bureaucrats who insanely argued at the state Capitol against GPS legislation, legislation that had overwhelming support from the public and ultimately, from the entire Legislature, save one or two votes. (The truth is, the bureaucrats oppose measures like GPS because they don’t want to create additional work or responsibilities on their lazy bureaucracy).

Consider this, sleepytown Greenfield. The bureaucrats rode into Muskego and gave the same “It won’t work” song and dance." 

But the locals in charge of Muskego, and good for them, decided to do what’s best for their community, and refused to be lectured by the bureaucrats and passed a restrictive sex offender ordinance.

Now the bureaucracy road show traveled to Greenfield. They’re thinking of making it tougher on sex offenders? We can’t have that!  And testify in Greenfield they did. See Paragraph 10.

And the Greenfield reaction was to go…..




Have some guts? Show some courage? Do what you were elected to do? Take a vote? Make a decision on an issue?


Greenfield decided to……..


Ever so…..


The Common Council decided to………………

Are you ready for this?

Have a public hearing.

Excuse me?

I repeat.

They decided to……

Am I going too fast?

Have a public hearing.








So, Greenfield parents, Greenfield boys and girls, you have to wait.

You have to wait a little longer.

You know why?

Because your safety and well-being apparently isn’t as important as that of the released sex offenders.

Yes, let’s talk and talk and talk and talk about this some more. Let’s not make a decision. What do we care?  Kids can’t vote anyway, right?

What's next in Greenfield? The formation of a  special task force?

The most ridiculous press release of the year

Let me get this straight. A one –year old Milwaukee boy is allegedly choked to death by his aunt, acting as the boy’s foster mother. It’s a tragic, criminal case, another example of a flawed foster care system.

How does a Milwaukee Democrat Assemblyman react? In a petty, partisan move, he blasts Republican state Senator Alberta Darling. Saying she was “heartsick,” Darling, who has fought for child safety and welfare her entire legislative career, called for a state investigation into the baby’s death.

Instead of joining in with Darling’s outrage, state Representative Josh Zepnick (D-Milwaukee) decided to play politics. Zepnick issued a press release that can only be described in terms like loony, bizarre, ludicrous, outrageous, and utterly stupid.

From Zepnick’s press release:

“I feel compelled to respond to the media frenzy surrounding the case details and unfinished business of family grieving and criminal justice system doing its job,” added Zepnick. “Senator Darling has jumped into a situation she knows little about and that is not in her backyard.  This tragic loss of life is not the first case of child abuse in Milwaukee County and certainly not the first death. Where has Alberta been before this story made headlines?”

Not in Darling's backyard? Zepnick represents the south side of MIlwaukee, nowhere near where this murder took place. What's he shooting his mouth off about?

Maybe Zepnick, who is probably feeling a bit cockier than usual following the Democrats’ takeover of the Assembly, should sit back, take a deep breath, and think about how incredibly dumb he sounds.

Maybe Zepnick should read state Representative Sue Jeskewitz's press release in response to his idiotic statements where she defended Darling's record on children's issues.

And then maybe Zepnick should watch this Fox 6 New video and this Fox 6 News video and think about where the blame should ultimately lie.

And then maybe Zepnick should think about the risk of stripping babies away from solid, white foster families only to put them in the dangerous custody of blood relatives on the sole basis of color.

And then maybe Zepnick should think long and hard before putting out another stupid press release. Earth to Josh: The election is over. Sheldon Wasserman lost to Darling.

Of course they can't do it!

State agencies, told to cut their budgets?  In Tax Hell, USA?

Is it any wonder they say they can’t do it?


They’ve been on the tax and spend gravy train for the longest time. Here’s the deal. Go back to your offices, and chop, chop, chop until, like budgeting families all across the state, you get the job done right.

Let's open a hornet's nest

Logo - Wautoma Area School District

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Now we're supposed to worry about sidestream smoke?

Today is the Great American Smokeout.

I don’t smoke, never have. I’m not crazy about being around smoke. Do I wish more people didn’t smoke? Of course. But I realize, understand, and accept that smoking is legal. It’s stupid, but legal.

I don’t like the behavior, but I don’t have anything against smokers, unlike so many today who literally hate, not just the smoke, but the smoker.

The pattern of and direction of our worries about smoking have extrapolated over time. First, it was the cigarette that was horrible. We put warnings on packs, but still advertised, and had actors and actresses puffing away on TV and on the silver screen.

Then we banned the advertising. First Amendment be damned.

Next, no smoking areas. I love the ones in restaurants, with a no smoking table right next to a smoking allowed section.

What if you didn’t smoke? Didn’t matter. You were going to die, too. Scientists discovered Secondhand smoke, also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), a general term for any smoke that non-smokers are exposed to.

Now we have mainstream smoke and sidestream smoke to worry about.  What’s the difference you ask? Mainstream smoke refers specifically to the smoke that a smoker inhales and then exhales. Side-stream smoke refers to the smoke that wafts off the end of a lit cigarette, cigar, or pipe. Side-stream smoke accounts for 85 percent of the ETS in a smoky room, so while no worse for you than mainstream smoke, it makes up the bulk of smoke that non-smokers may encounter.

So if you walk into a bar, or smoking section and there’s smoke, is it:

A) Secondhand smoke?

B) Mainstream smoke?

C) Sidestream smoke?

And how concerned should you be? Just how dangerous is that smoke?  If it’s mainstream smoke, can you hang around, but if it’s sidestream, should you run for your life?

Cigarette taxes? They’ve become a quick, easy fix to budget problems.

Bans on smoking? The smoking Nazi’s won’t be satisfied until you can’t light up on your own property, in your own home.

The annual Great American Smokeout? Not anymore.

We’ve gone from a once-a-year to a daily nagging.

Here we go again: The attack on the oil companies

$2 billion? Nope.

$4 billion? Nahh.

$5 billion? Not quite.

Governor Doyle announced this afternoon the state budget deficit is $5.4 BILLION. Democrats quoted by the Journal Sentinel are “stunned” by the numbers. Had they listened to fiscally conservative republicans for the past umpteen years who warned about exorbitant taxing and spending, maybe they would have realized that you can’t keep using the Visa card over and over and over and over again.

Now come the silly ideas on how to fix this chaos. Governor Doyle plans to resurrect one of them: his proposed tax on oil companies. There are a couple of problems with what, to some, might sound peachy keen on the surface:

1) Any tax imposed on oil companies will simply be passed on to consumers in the form of increased prices, and/or oil companies will stop doing a fair amount of business in our state.

2) This minor triviality: the idea may be unconstitutional.

Time to review why this is a horrible plan.

Take a few minutes to read the truth about so-called Big Oil, and why you shouldn’t be mad at Big Oil.

I agree with Eugene Kane

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel race columnist’s latest effort has this headline:

For once and for all, let's lose the N-word

There is no place for the incredibly offensive racial slur……..anywhere. I’m saying that, not Kane.

Now I’m just a dumb old white guy but I have the same question a lot of other dumb old white guys have: Why is it ok for blacks to call each other the “N” word?

Kane tackled the question in a column two years ago:

“Why is it so wrong for a white guy to use the N-word when so many black comedians and rappers throw it around with impunity?

It's a topic I've addressed for years, including regular conversations with teachers in Milwaukee and elsewhere who express their dismay at hearing the N-word used so frequently by African-American students in the hallways and on the fields and playgrounds.

My standard answer is to acknowledge the word's awesome power to demean and dehumanize when uttered by white folks but also to attempt to explain that for many blacks of my generation and younger, it's never been considered an insult when a black person uses it in greeting or even with affection.

By way of comparison, Jeff Foxworthy, a white comedian from the South, has made millions making fun of ‘redneck’ whites. A black comedian could not release a ‘You Might Be a Redneck If . . . ‘ album without controversy.

Some readers don't buy that; they insist if the N-word is offensive, it should be offensive for everybody.”

I’d have to agree with them, Eugene. Seems as though the insult is just as inflammatory, maybe even more so coming from one black against another. Kane just can’t come out and tell all blacks to stop using the word.

Eugene Kane says it’s time to lose the “N” word, once for and for all. I concur, but would add that should include everyone.


Blue states = blue economies

I’ve written about how impressed I am with young blogger, the Conservative Casanova, a 21-year old college student from Greenfield attending school ay the University of Minnesota: smart, good thinker, writer.

Here’s another fine young blogger:

After some clever research, he’s written a terrific blog this week.

First, he took this map from the New York Times. Take a good look, especially at the states with circles.

Now compare that to the map shows in his blog comparing how the states went on Election Day compared to their state budgets.

Interesting. The bluer (Democrat) the state, the more fiscal trouble the state is experiencing.

Super job,!  How refreshing! You really and truly are a fine young blogger!

Lighting up Graceland


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Goodbye CC Sabathia

The New York Yankees are prepared to throw everything they've got at the Brewer pitcher. Now San Francisco enters the picture.  The City by the Bay is where CC really wants to play.

The Brewers gambled on Sabathia last season, and lost.

 Image: Victorino

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Friday night on InterCHANGE

Here are the topics the panel discusses Friday night on InterCHANGE at 6:30 on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10 with a repeat on Sunday morning at 11:00:


Every day it seems like there’s more bad economic news.  Should we bail out the auto industry or is that simply delaying the inevitable?  Stocks across the board continue to fall, retirement accounts lose value, health care costs rise, more layoffs are looming, etc.  The state faces a huge budget shortfall.  Have we bottomed out yet?  Is this the worst economic time of our lives?  Have any of us really ever experience a tough national economy?  Will an Obama presidency change anything?  Is a real depression out of the question?  Do these bad economic times really have much of an effect on the average American?  Are you driving less?  Eating less?  Going out to dinner less?  Or, is this the result of a country that just got too fat and spoiled?   


Three teens are shot after a mother gives her kid the gun to do the shooting with.  A 1-year-old boy is beaten to death by his foster mother, and then a fight breaks out at the funeral.  Two more examples of an incredibly dysfunctional poor Milwaukee African-America community, or two more examples of how the system has again failed to protect the most vulnerable among us?  

3 – HILLARY.  

Would Hillary Clinton make a good secretary of state?  Why would Obama pick her?  Why would she take the job?

UPDATE: If you call Senator Lazich's office FRIDAY....

That would be 608-266-5400...

And you get the Voice of the Angels, Wautoma High School graduate Tricia Sieg on the other end of the line....

After she says:

“Good morning/afternoon, this is State Senator Mary Lazich’s office, how may I help you?”

Don’t be a fuddy duddy. If you want to be cool, say:



Wautoma wins the Division 4 state football title!

Congratulations Wautoma and Tricia!


Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, HORNETS!

Hunters are cool

The deer hunting season opens Saturday, and I wish the hunters good luck and hope they’ll be safe.

As a tribute to the men and women in bright orange, I bring you the words of the man who says it better than anyone else when it comes to hunting: Ted Nugent.

For more than 20 years now, some great hunting families — including ours — have stalked, ambushed, killed, gutted, hugged, dragged, skinned, hung, butchered, marinated, cooked up, seasoned, celebrated and served up more than 250 million perfect, hot, pure, yummy, high-protein meals of sacred venison to our fellow Americans in need.

That's right: 250 million, again, from another annual, perfect, natural season of harvest.

With our magnanimous Hunters for the Hungry, Sportsmen Against Hunger and the Hunters and Farmers Feeding the Hungry programs, we have delivered the finest, healthiest rocket fuel for the mind, body, heart, spirit and soul to homeless shelters and soup kitchens across the land.

Most importantly, it's happened without the guaranteed ineptitude and waste of government bureaucrats meddling with a simple neighborly deed.

Hallelujah and pass the garlic-and-butter BBQ sauce, baby. God bless American hunters, the best Americans there are.”

Here’s Nugent’s entire column.

6th UPDATE: Nebraska's Safe Haven Law not at all like Wisconsin's

Topics talked about on WISN

The safe haven nightmare is over in Nebraska.

Earlier this year, the state was the last in the country to adopt a safe haven law, but Nebraska went much too far, allowing children as old as 19 to be dropped off at police stations and hospitals. As expected, the law had horrendous circumstances that I’ve blogged about and discussed on WISN.

The law has now been changed to apply to children up to 30 days of age. That’s a major improvement. A better law would have been one structured like the one in Wisconsin and many other states where the deadline is 72 hours.

Here are links to other stories with many more details about the Nebraska issue.

Milwaukee County goes Madison

Next spring, all Milwaukee County Transit System buses will have bike racks installed. Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker wisely vetoed the idea, but he was overridden by the County Board 16-3.

I agree with Walker who called the bike rack plan, “ridiculous,” one that will bilk the taxpayers. But as we all know, the Milwaukee County Board doesn’t really care about the people who pay the bills.

Few will take advantage of this costly move during our small window of warm weather opportunity. Madison buses have bike racks, and I must say I rarely see them being used.

Congratulations to supervisors who represent Franklin, Mark Borkowski and Paul Cesarz for voting to sustain Walker’s veto of this nonsensical ordinance.

I want to be Rhino

Former Notre Dame football coach, now ESPN college football analyst Lou Holtz tours the country, delivering motivational speeches. I read once where Holtz told an audience they should sit down and write the 100 things they want to do before they die, and go out and try to accomplish those goals.

If I performed such an exercise, here’s what my list of 100 would include:

I want to be the voice of a character in a Disney animated film.

It is not impossible.

You may say that only established Hollywood celebrities get chosen to provide the voices for those critters. Not so.

In the movie, “Bolt,” that opened this weekend, the hamster Rhino’s voice is not that of a movie or TV star. During production, one of Rhino’s artists, Mark Walton was asked to be a stand-in and lend his voice while the search was on for a “real actor” to ultimately play the role. Disney magic prevailed, and Walton got to keep the part and was thrilled.

Meet Rhino, the superfan, voiced by Walton.

Walton says this about the new Disney flick:

I hope audiences walk away knowing that pets, dogs in particular, are trusting and love unconditionally. They believe in you even when you don't believe in yourself."

A reminder: Still to come this morning on This Just in…the return of The Barking Lot.

The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot

THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.

TODAY:  Mostly Cloudy and cold, but dry.  "D"

SUNDAY:  Sunny with normal temperatures for this time of year, finally. "C"

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45 years ago today...

You remember, don't you?

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A look back at the people and events that made news the past week.
Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...


State Representative Mark Gundrum

Tony Romo

Air hostess

Eagle Scout Simon Sharp


Former Milwaukee Archbishop Rembert Weakland. He sure has a lot of nerve.

Dublin rapper


“I hope we get a good deal of help. A lot of what's happened with the national economy falls on the states.”
Governor Doyle on the possibility of a federal package to provide relief to states facing budget deficits. Doyle announced the state budget deficit is at $5.4 billion, the largest ever in Wisconsin history.

“The least President Bush could do before he leaves is to get on board plans to send relief to the states.”
Senate Majority Leader Russ Decker (D-Weston).

“The mother of all gimmicks is that the feds are going to bail us out.”
Senate Minority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), on the prospect of the federal government coming to the rescue.

“While Governor Doyle listed some new agency guidelines as steps to modestly reduce spending, his first legislative requests will unfortunately be tax increases. As Democrats control all aspects of state government, he will likely get his wish.”
Assembly Minority Leader-elect Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon). Fitzgerald opposes tax increases as a means of covering the deficit, saying Wisconsin families “have been dealing with tight budgets for quite some time.”

(A 10 percent cut would) reduce this office to a dog-and-pony show and undermine Wisconsin's strong railroad tradition.”
State Railroad Commissioner Roger Breske responding to Governor Doyle’s direction to trim an additional 10 percent from state agencies. Breske later retracted his statement, saying his staff would do whatever it could to “come up with a solution.”

“The last thing you want to do is go to the taxpayers that have been displaced and lost their job in Niagara and lost their job in Kimberly, and ask these taxpayers who are now without a job to then fund the Chrysler corporation which is owned by the same company that displaced them.”
Wisconsin Congressman Steve Kagen (D-Appleton), calling for Chrysler to be left out of any bailout proposal.

“Other opportunities to be fiscally responsible were missed. Tough times require tight budgets, and we will continue to work to make it affordable to live, work, play and retire in Milwaukee County.”
Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker, one of the few sane political voices in our area, on his budget vetoes.

“Kathleen Falk's poor judgment cost a couple of lives.”
Former Madison School Board member Nancy Mistele announcing she will run against Dane County Executive Falk. Mistele referred to errors at the Dane County 911 call center that preceded a pair of homicides in Madison.

“The word has no business in my vocabulary and I should not have used it -- not even in private.”
Rick Gale, president of the Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin, in a letter resigning his PFFW post and memberships on all public boards and apologizing for using a racial slur to refer to President-elect Barack Obama.

“I suspect I'll be driving the kids to school and I’ll be letting my wife sleep in for the first day.”
State Representative Mark Gundrum (R-New Berlin). After returning from a nine-month tour in Iraq as part of the Reserves, Gundrum said he looks forward to time with the family.


I've got two this week.

Another contestant for Mother of the Year.

And it's sure tough to take these guys seriously.


The Milwaukee USO could close.
This is big stuff.


Hillary for Secretary of State. I thought Obama hated her?


As usual, there are several.

BRAS THAT MAKE YOU SICK! No you don't have to wait for the 10:00 news. Read.

Here's the newest, latest grounds for divorce.

I know I can sleep at night, now that this has been made public.

Strip clubs and the Olympics?

You think you've got problems? He's a felon, an arsonist, homeless, and now he owes $101 million.

He drove Lee Harvey Oswald to work 45 years ago today.

REMEMBER: Your suggestions/nominations for any of these categories every week are welcome, especially for HEROES OF THE WEEK. If you know of anyone in the community deserving of recognition, please e-mail me.

Another example of why people hate government

By golly, they want that penny!

Recommended reading

Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns from the past week that I highly recommend:


A tax increase? In this economy?

Not so fast on tax hike talk

Spendthrift states don't need a bailout

Who killed Detroit?

In defense of the oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP

Rising stars

The media gets giddy over Obama

7% don't say?

Have you heard the ads?

The ones on the radio....from We Energies.

Nothing new, really. They've been making the same claim for a long time.

We Energies swears their energy prices are 7% below the national average. That could very well be. I have no idea if that's true or not.

I can tell you this....when I hear that advertised proclamation, it doesn't make me, as a consumer, feel any better.

Seems to me this might be a good project for a certain newspaper or any TV news department in town to investigate.

Is it true?  Are We Energies prices 7% below the national average?

Again, even if it's true, I still don't feel like I'm getting a bargain.

My most popular blogs

Most popular

As I post every Sunday, here are the top five most popular of my blog entries from the previous week:

1) Photos of the Week (11/16/08)

2) Culinary no-no #87

3) If you  call state Senator Mary Lazich's office this week...

4) Democrats in control of Legislature already fighting

5) Thanks, Sierra Club

One of Franklin's finest featured in MJS

Mary and Mark Carstensen (

Franklin developer Mark Carstensen's home was used this year as the American Cancer Society's "Christmas Fantasy House."  The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel today has a feature in its Cue section with photos. Scroll down to the 3rd item.

Here's more from the American Cancer Society.

Carstensen is one of Franklin's best corporate citizens. Thank you, Mark, for all you do for our community!

Photos of the Week (11/23/08)

Photos of the Week


President-elect Barack Obama met with Senator John McCain on Monday at Mr. Obama's transition office in Chicago. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Associated Press

 Kennedy Senate

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Ted Thompson is an absolute genius

The Packer General Manager is so much smarter than me and thousands of other Green Bay fans.

He knows sooooooooooooo much about football.

He knows Brett Favre is washed up.

He knows Brett Favre just can’t play the game anymore.

He knows that in order to win, a team needs to do so without Brett Favre.

Brett Favre no longer has what it takes to be a leader.

To get to that “next level,“ whatever the hell that means, the Packers have to do it with a quarterback with little or no experience.

The Packers without a 3-time NFL MVP that led the team to a 13-3 record last year and a game away from the Super Bowl are better off  this year without him because, well, he’s washed up and I’m a cocky, arrogant, SOB of a GM that knows more about football than anyone else, so shut your %$#@^*&^%$# mouth.

I am in awe of Ted Thompson's brilliance.

UPDATE: Favre and the Jets have good Karma.

I am soooooooooooooooo glad the MJS is NOT a liberal paper

What a ridiculous assertion!

The Journal Sentinel, liberal? Why, that’s preposterous! Let’s take a look at the Crossroads section in today’s Sunday edition.

In the letters to the editor section, cleverly entitled, “Sunday Symposium,” the powers that be chose not one, but TWO letters criticizing state Senator Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) for the death of a 13-month old foster child, Christopher Thomas. 

The baby boy was choked to death by his foster mother, the boy’s aunt. Darling said the case made her “heartsick,” and called for a sate investigation. Darling has been a champion of the child welfare/child safety issue longer than the Journal Sentinel has been the Journal Sentinel, and yet the editors thought it appropriate to print two letters ripping her, not the aunt for the death of this innocent infant.

Any letter or editorial commending her for calling for an investigation? Are you kidding? Are you, excuse me, nuts?

Any letter or editorial chastising black elected officials for their silence on this or any other chaotic episode in the central city? I repeat my earlier questions.

There’s also a piece on the incredibly unpopular notion of commuter rail. Any rebuttal column? At the risk of being redundant, are you kidding me? Are you, excuse me, out of your mind?

The best, though, is an opinion piece on how to raise state revenue co-written by three lefties that calls for no less than…..


One would think such a radical op-ed item would warrant a column with a differing view. After all, aren’t the editors trained in the fairness of journalism? Don’t they go to bed invoking God (that they won’t do in print) imploring Him for the rebirth of the Fairness Doctrine?

Cue the broken record. Are you kidding me? Are you one french fry short of a Happy Meal?

Praise the Lord, I am so deliriously happy the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is not a liberal publication. If they were, my goodness gracious, their circulation would drop, and those ever so smart editors would never allow that to happen.

Goodbye America

Sometimes, we as individuals are too close to a situation to truly grasp and fully understand its gravity or reality.

As of November 4, 2008, Americans are in a state of unsubstantiated euphoria, steadfast in the belief the blind will see, the deaf will hear, the lame will walk, wars and terrorism will end, no one will ever suffer hunger pangs again, racism will fade, and the days of Shangri-La and Brigadoon have finally arrived.

We’re too involved, we’re too overcome by emotion that we can’t possibly fathom the truth. For that we need outsiders, like the British to put fairy tales into cold starke reality. Like British columnist Peter Hitchins who writes:

“Anyone would think we had just elected a hip, skinny and youthful replacement for God, with a plan to modernize Heaven and Hell - or that at the very least John Lennon had come back from the dead.

The swooning frenzy over the choice of Barack Obama as President of the United States must be one of the most absurd waves of self-deception and swirling fantasy ever to sweep through an advanced civilization. At least Mandela-worship - its nearest equivalent - is focused on a man who actually did something.

I really don't see how the Obama devotees can ever in future mock the Moonies, the Scientologists or people who claim to have been abducted in flying saucers. This is a cult like the one which grew up around Princess Diana, bereft of reason and hostile to facts. The night America changed: Barack and Michelle Obama in Chicago.”

Here is the entire column, The night we waved goodbye to America... our last best hope on Earth.”

HT: A dear friend, T. Reeves.

Democrats want to "Barney-ize" talk radio

Democrats are all in favor of speech, as long as it’s liberal speech. They want to bring back the Fairness Doctrine to shut down conservative speech.

Patrick McIlheran nails it.

Culinary no-no #88

Culinary no-no's

There’s a certain order, a certain regiment surrounding Thanksgiving. You might say the holiday has revered traditions. Here’s the longer explanation. Let’s start from the very beginning.

Thanksgiving Day morning. You wake up. Is McDonald’s open?

You drag yourself to the mailbox to grab the morning paper. Wifey-poo wants to see the biggest, best edition of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel ever. Well, at least from an ads standpoint.

McDonald’s is open, by golly. Even though you will eat your cotton pickin’ guts out in just a few hours, you must have grease and cholesterol and it must come in a Golden Arches wrapper.

What time is it? We better not miss that parade! I’ve been watching it since I was forced to when I was 6 years old, damn it! If I don’t see the Underdog float, there’s going to be hell to pay!

“Uhh, Dad, Underdog isn’t in the parade anymore. But Bolt will be.”


Float after float.

Marching band after band.


NFL football.

Early. Very early on T-Day, even if it is the winless, hapless Detroit Lions.

I gotta see it. I’ve got money on the blasted game.

Repeat same tirade at 3:00 when the Dallas Cowboys play their annual holiday game in Texas. Only it goes something like this:

“Turn off that dog show. No more It’s a Wonderful Life. We’ve seen that junk a million times. The poor sap finds God and runs around town yelling and screaming like a maniac. PUT ON THE STINKIN’ GAME!”

That is the long version. The short version, minus all this keen analysis is that Thanksgiving is all about:



All those other traditions come second.

Thanksgiving is about food and what you eat, and what you eat on Thanksgiving  is turkey.

And what you eat is turkey unless you’re one of two things:

1) Communist

2) Vegetarian

But, Kevin…vegetarians have to eat, even on Thanksgiving.

True. But they should do so without any fanfare and not ruin this long-awaited holiday for the rest of us slovenly meat eaters.

Thanksgiving isn’t about vegetarians. It’s about what Paul Ianaelli, long-time official with Festa Italiana told me about how Italians eat. He said, “Kevin, I’m a gonna tell you somethin’. Italians, they a don’t eat to be sated. No, no, no, Kevin. Italians eat to hurt themselves.”

Same thing for red-blooded, true blue Americans on Thanksgiving. You don’t eat brussels sprouts all year. On the 4th Thursday of November, pile those babies on my plate!

Dallas is up by 87 points? No sweat, Undo my belt buckle and let me watch the 4th quarter in sublime joy.

And it all begins with, after the 35
hors d'oeuvres you devoured before dinner, turkey as the main dish. Not beef. Not pork. Not lamb. The same dinner Miles Standish had that led to the famous sub at Suburbia.

That’s why this is so disgusting.

It’s just so wrong. No other words of analysis are necessary.

Miss Manners was recently confronted with a Thanksgiving family dilemma:

"Dear Miss Manners: This year I will be hosting a rather large Thanksgiving dinner for family. My sister-in-law will be bringing her boyfriend, who is a vegetarian. I had planned on offering several vegetarian options, as I want him to feel welcome.

My sister-in-law informed my husband they preferred that no meat be served, but if we insisted, could we make sure not to cook meat/nonmeat items in the oven at the same time, and could we refrain from ceremoniously carving the turkey at the table? How should I handle this request?"

Now hold the gravy, alright. Who does the twig-eating boyfriend think he is? He’s a guest, and he’s making menu demands? Hello, you’re a weirdo. Ever stop to think that 99% of the people you’ll be spending the holiday with won’t be satisfied with nuts, cardboard, and wheat thins?

Don’t cook meat with non-meat items in the oven at the same time? What are you, some kind of Pollyanna wuss? Don’t carve the turkey at the table? Why don’t you just go outside when the electric knife comes out and count your beads.

Miss Manners’ response:

"Gentle Reader: With the firm conviction that you are graciously attending to the needs of a guest by making sure that he will have enough to eat, and need not let him take over the running of the household.

You might also suggest to your sister that Thanksgiving, with its food rituals, may not be the best holiday which to bring the gentleman. Should he become a member of the family, Miss Manners would think your sister-in-law would want to hold family Thanksgiving at their house, where they will be in charge."

In my view, vegetarians at Thanksgiving are like atheists at Christmastime:

1) Nobody gives a rip about you.

2) You are clearly in the minority so shut your yap.

3) If you’re my guest in my house, understand this is Thanksgiving, Bozo. You make no, I mean no demands on me or my menu. Understand that turkey will be carved, served and eaten with great joy. If you can’t refrain from losing it, then kindly take your tofu-eatin’ self and get the hell out of my house.

Now that we’ve settled that, would somebody please pass the dark meat and the stuffing?

Here's last year's Thanksgiving culinary no-no...........and yet another. Do you really want to do this?

A little something to make your look outside the window a bit more pleasant

It is still fall. We have about a month to go before we officially hit winter.

That means that it is meteorologically impossible to have temperatures at or below freezing or to see freezing precipitation, i.e. snow.

Now play along with me folks.

See the below youtube video. It's pretty obvious what it is. Just go ahead, play along with me alright, and click the arrow......don't listen yet!  Let the video play for awhile with the sound completely down.

Read more

OK, Father, if you insist

Times are mighty depressing, what with the economy floundering and Democrats in charge of everything. So a Florida pastor is telling his flock to, AHEM, you know……go home and make some whoopee.

I’m all for that, although, like the song goes, the time will come when my theme song will be, “I should have danced all night.”

He's washing dishes and baby cloths
He's so ambitious he even sows
but don't forget folks that’s what you get folks
for makin’ whoopee”

When I was in church Sunday, the homily was ho-hum, bland, strictly strict. The priest never came close to urging those in the pews to head for home, turn off the lights, and pitch woo. Not like that guy in Florida.

Jump each other, a lot, he told his parishioners. Not in those words, but definitely in this time frame. Once is not enough. Seven straight days, ladies and gentlemen.

Again, that’s just fine. Or is it?

I might respectfully suggest to this man of the cloth that his idea is pretty wimpy and might not even work up a sweat compared to the advice some couples are following from their religious leaders.

Seven days? That’s kid’s stuff up in the balcony of the old Modjeska Theater.

You want to stir up some passion? Try this.

Of course, that might, in some instances, prove to be fatal. But Max Sass might have a hard time getting that smile off your face.

Read more

GB vs NO: Something's gotta give

It’s being billed as the NFL’s #1 passing offense (New Orleans) against the league’s top secondary (Green Bay). That’s a great matchup.

Reggie bush is out and New Orleans crowd favorite Deuce McAlister is in, with a chance to break the Saints all-time rushing touchdown record.

New Orleans thinks they can put pressure on Aaron Rodgers. If they can, it could be a long night for the Pack.

Historically, New Orleans does poorly on Monday night.

Here’s a preview to read before all your rowdy friends come over.


How does that old joke go? What do you call a lawyer buried up to his neck in mud?*

This is the story of a pig (sorry, he is) named Phillip Sherman. He walks into a McDonald’s in Razorback country, Arkansas. That’s fitting because of what I called him previously.

Genius leaves the restaurant but realizes he left his cell phone behind. He calls McDonald’s and is assured they have the phone and will secure it until he comes by to get it.

Problem: His cell phone has pictures of his wife on it.

Bigger problem: His wife is nude in the pictures (Sooey! That's a reference, by the way, to the husband, not the wife's physique).

Even bigger problem: You want Internet photos to go with that? And that’s just he got. His wife, on the Internet, naked as a jaybird or whatever flies in Clintonland.

Of course, the lawyers have to get involved and McDonald’s is now being sued, even though it’s the ignoramus’s fault completely.

Here’s the BBC account.

The lawsuit would have asked for more, but no one dropped scalding hot McDonald’s coffee on the jughead’s phone.

*Not enough mud

If you can't beat Scott Walker, strip him of his power

DISCLAIMER: I know state Senator Tim Carpenter very well. I like and respect Tim, and he’s a friend.

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker drives the lefties crazy. Walker is one of the few sane voices in a sea of local governments perpetuated by big tax and spenders. He’s mega-popular, and at a time when Democrats are winning more often than not, they haven’t figured out how to deal with the Republican Walker, who wins big even in a Democrat county.

If you can’t beat him in an election, you can try to cut his legs off through legislation.

State Senator Tim Carpenter (D-Milwaukee) is drafting legislation to limit the power of county executives in Wisconsin to use creative vetoes to create entirely new budget appropriations. Carpenter points to the Legislature voting to get rid of the governor’s Frankenstein veto authority and the voters’ overwhelming support of changing Wisconsin’s constitution to ensure new spending appropriations never approved by the Legislature could not be adopted through the creative use of a veto pen. If the governor can’t do it, why should a county executive be able to, maintains Carpenter.

On the surface, Carpenter’s plan might have merit. But keep in mind Governor Doyle was using his pen to create new spending, increased appropriations never even considered by the Legislature. Tommy Thompson used the veto pen in a “creative” way as well, but he cut spending, he didn’t jack it up for special interests that bankrolled his campaign.

Likewise, Scott Walker used his veto pen to chop spending, and his vetoes have been ruled to be legal.

Carpenter is wrapping himself in the cloak of good government. But let’s be honest. The timing of his proposal smacks of partisan politics. It comes the same week Walker’s tax and spending opponents on the Milwaukee County Board were whining and moaning about how Walker used his pen.

And with all due respect to my friend, Tim, who are you trying to kid? In his press release Carpenter says, “This is not a partisan issue – it is a question of good government.”

Sorry, but that’s just too funny. Of course this is partisan! Carpenter only points to Walker and no other county executive in the state.

Carpenter argues that 66% voted in Milwaukee County to get rid of the governor’s Frankenstein veto. Ergo, Carpenter thinks, they would want to support his legislation. There’s a distinct difference here. The Frankenstein veto vote was an indictment of the incredible misuse of the power by Jim Doyle. Those same Milwaukee County voters swept Scott Walker into office and have kept doing it on the issue of fiscal responsibility. They WANT Walker to do whatever he can to thwart the never-ending taxing and spending from the irresponsible Milwaukee County Board.

Call me inconsistent, but I see this as a blatant partisan ploy to hurt Scott Walker and if it ever came to a vote and Walker was still the county executive, I’m voting no.

Read Carpenter’s release.

Hannity and Colmes to see a major change

Obviously this is the work of the huge right wing conspiracy.

He just called him a schlub

Just prior to kickoff tonight, ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said Packer head coach Mike McCarthy comes off as a "schlub." From the The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language:

NOUN: Slang A person regarded as clumsy, stupid, or unattractive.

It's from the Yiddish for "blockhead."

GREEN BAY, WI - OCTOBER 19:  Head coach Mike McCarthy of the Green Bay Packers gestures during the game with the Indianapolis Colts on October 19, 2008 at Lambeau Field in Green Bay Wisconsin. The Packers won 34-14. From Getty Images.

Mike McCarthy Picture

GREEN BAY, WI - NOVEMBER 16:  Head coach Mike McCarthy of the Green Bay Packers leads his team against the Chicago Bears during NFL action at Lambeau Field on November 16, 2008 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Bears 37-3. From Getty Images.
Photos: Getty Images, Zimbio


I'm back on WISN

Listen this Friday as I fill in for Mark Belling from 3-6 p.m. on Newstalk 1130 WISN.

During the day, J. Gravelle of the Daily Scoff will guest blog here. And even though some foolishly suggest that because J. hails from Germantown, that somehow he has no business writing about Franklin, J. has been given license to write about Franklin, Minneapolis, Brussels, Tokyo, and even downtown Potosi if he so chooses.

He's sharp, witty, and will probably tick off some people. I love it!

Who took who to the next level?







Green Bay Press Gazette

Jingle Bell Jazz-get your tickets now

The Franklin Cultural Arts Center is proud to bring Jingle Bell Jazz to the South Milwaukee Performing Arts Center on Friday December 5th at 7:30
 Jingle Bell Jazz, certain not to be your typical Christmas program, will feature two of Milwaukee's best known Jazz artists. The Jeno Somlai Qunitet, a Latin/jazz group heavily influenced by many different styles in the Latin and afro-Cuban genre with Donna Woodall formerly  the lead singer from the well known Milwaukee Band Streetlife, will headline the event. Ms. Woodal and Mr. Somlai will bring a fresh interpretations of your holiday favorites to the SMPAC that are sure to bring some spice to your Christmas Holiday Season. Teaming up with these local jazz greats will be the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra (MYSO) Latin Jazz Combo.

Visit for more information or to purchase tickets on line.  Or call the SMPAC box office at 414-766-5049


Meet my good friend, Rob Wankowksi, a Wisconsin native now living in Las Vegas and a 2008 nominee for the Green Bay Packers Fan Hall of Fame.

Rob would like your vote. Today is the last day to vote for who enters the Packers Fan Hall of Fame.

Please consider voting for Rob, who’s a super guy (and don’t hold it against him because he’s my friend!).

Good luck, Rob!

More details on UW Band controversy

We're learning more about the events that led to the suspension of the UW Band and how university officilas found out about them.

Here's more from the Wisconsin State Journal.


This Just In has spotted conditions that are ripe for a Blog Blizzard sometime this evening. Blog Blizzards in the past have been marked by a blast of continuous blogs on various subjects.

You are advised to stay close to your computer for further updates. The Blog Blizzard may pop up at any time with an undetermined duration.

We now return you to your favorite blog.

Blog blizzard... about to hit.

Thanksgiving: Our most miserable holiday

Last year at this time, I blogged about a ridiculous memo sent out by the Office of Equity, Race and Learning Support in the Seattle Public Schools to staff members.

It was their screwed up way of thinking that
America had it all wrong.

Thanksgiving is not supposed to be a day of friendship or festivity.

It’s a day meant for sadness and grief.

Here is their memo:

Dear Seattle Public Schools Staff:

We recognize the amount of work that educators and staff have to do in order to fulfill our mission to successfully educate all students. It’s never as simple as preparing and delivering a lesson. Students bring with them a host of complexities including cultural, linguistic and social economic diversity. In addition they can also bring challenges related to their social, emotional and physical well being. One of our departments’ goals is to support you by suggesting ways to assist you in removing barriers to learning by promoting respect and honoring the diversity of our students, staff and families.

With so many holidays approaching we want to again remind you that Thanksgiving can be a particularly difficult time for many of our Native students. This website offers suggestions on ways to be sensitive of diverse experiences and perspectives and still make the holiday meaningful for all students. Here you will discover ways to help you and your students think critically, and find resources where you can learn about Thanksgiving from a Native American perspective. Eleven myths are identified about Thanksgiving, take a look at #11 and begin your own deconstruction.

Myth #11: Thanksgiving is a happy time
Fact: For many Indian people, “Thanksgiving” is a time of mourning, of remembering how a gift of generosity was rewarded by theft of land and seed corn, extermination of many from disease and gun, and near total destruction of many more from forced assimilation. As currently celebrated in this country, “Thanksgiving” is a bitter reminder of 500 years of betrayal returned for friendship.

So call all your friends and relatives. Cancel that big, scrumptious dinner.

Football all day? Forget it. Unplug all the sets.

Eat that bird some other time.

Pull down all the shades, pull the drapes, sit  around in a dark, quiet house all day and act like you’re a guilty white liberal.

Put on black armbands.

Wail and gnash your teeth.

This is no time to give thanks. It’s a time to be miserable and depressed.

Mourn, America, mourn.

The group that put out the above memo has since disbanded. But in Seattle, the press is still looking for and finding native Americans who insist they feel awful about Thanksgiving. It seems we went almost 400 years without these liberal guilt trips and native Americans in need of support groups, didn’t we?



I refuse to feel guilty or sad on Thanksgiving.

Why liberals hate the holidays

An oldie but a goodie:


Top Ten Reasons Why Liberals Hate the Holidays

10 - Thanksgiving is mass murder for turkeys.

9 - Too many SUVs traveling to grandma's house.

8 - College bowl games encourage competition.

7 - Millions of Christmas trees are cut down.

6 - The pilgrims thought up Thanksgiving, not the Indians.

5 - Christmas lights waste electricity.

4 - People are giving thanks to WHO?

3 - Winter lull in global-warming hype.

2 - Daycare centers are closed.

1 - Christmas celebrates a birth, not an abortion.

These people should have their own blogs

One of the forums up on this website asking for reader feedbacks asks this question:

"For what are you grateful this year?"

Some of the responses are quite interesting. Here are a few that caught my eye:

I am thankful for my husband. He saved me the day we had a fire in our home on October 7th 2008. Our kids were in school. We are thankful for all of the support that we received from family, friends, & neighbors.

The Hubert Family

- Colleen Hubert, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin

I am thankful for having a job, money in my pocket, a car (not the fanciest mind you), but it is mine. A roof over my head, food on the table, a warm bed at night. They are just the little things in life, but I am very thankful for them.

- N., Cudahy, WII

I'm grateful for higher taxes, this soon to be Socialist Country of ours, A soon to be President with no experience or qualifications, Gov. Jim Doyle for making Wisconsin one of the highest taxed states in the country, and all the Lefties out there who like to impose their will and agendas on all us us. I'm also glad Brett Favre is kicking some you-know-what in New York!!! Happy Turkey Day everyone!!!!

- W.A.M., West Allis, WI.

this is dumb - all the things in the world going on and this is what we have a forum on. Muskego is the highest school tax district as of last week's paper, we had our first armed robbery in a very long time, most of the high schools teams made it to the state competition, we just had veterans day, all of this and yet this forum is a Hallmark card of what we are thankful for. Seems like you are grasping for things to do.

- whatever?, Muskego

i am very grateful for my three children, specifically my middle child, my only son who is a united states marine. he will be home on leave finally in jan after a years absence from us. not many people in the neighborhood where we live understand why he joined the marines, and how could i have allowed him, i tell them how could i have not and they should be grateful for guys like him who give them the right to say whatever they want. There is no draft and if guys like him did not volunteer, they would have to bring it back and many more people would be upset by this. i am very proud of my son and and hope next year at this time i can write i am grateful to have him come home safe after his deployment to iraq.

- peggy yee, bayside wisconsin

That the Presidential election is finally over and the next one doesn't start for 2 more weeks.

-Jim, New Berlin

Here’s the entire list.

"Favre trade a bad -- and getting worse -- decision"

I've been beating up quite a bit on the Packer brass for trading Brett Favre. Here's my latest jab that can't be denied because it contains indisputable facts.

Tom Oates is a sports columnist for the Wisconsin State Journal. His column in Wednesday's paper will read, in part:

"With five games still to play, the historically lousy Jets have doubled their victory total from last season.

Meanwhile, after their 51-29 loss to New Orleans Monday night, the perennially strong Packers have suffered twice as many losses as they did all last season.

If you're doing the math on the most controversial trade in Packers history, it doesn't get any clearer than that."

It is pretty obvious, isn't it? That is, unless you're a stubborn, obstinate fan refusing to admit that this is the bonehead personnel move of the year,maybe the decade.

Stop tormenting yourself. Want to enjoy the rest of the season?  The Jets are talented and fun to watch. Root for them to make and go far into the playoffs.

The silver lining in our crummy economy

The rough, tough conditions just might slap some cold, hard, stark reality into the spoiled 20-something's.

Blog blizzard warning remains in effect

A flurry of blog activity is taking place on This Just in…

The blog blizzard came late in the day with many readers possibly snuggled safely under the covers. Even so, it’s believed they won’t escape the effects of the blog blizzard that is sure to descend upon them even after the warning is lifted.

The worst Christmas songs

This is the week historically when local radio stations first started playing Christmas music, at Thanksgiving.

Now, we start fa-la-la-ing on FM on Halloween. I totally understand the idea. Stations have done research and have seen the Arbitron ratings. Christmas music works, the earlier the better.

You may hate it, but there are a gazillion more folks that want Burl Ives and Johnny Mathis about the same time Linus gets humiliated for another year in the pumpkin patch.

Here’s my problem with the Christmas music on the radio. Actually, I have two.

1) The juxtaposition of songs. Someone should realize that you don’t play Ave Maria right after I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas.

2) Speaking of religious numbers, I would prefer the secular stuff early on, working in the carols slowly and closer as we get to Christmas. For the past few weeks, I just couldn’t get into The First Noel. Silent Night? Not on a 75 degree Indian Summer afternoon in early November.

And here are, in my view, the five worst Christmas songs played on the radio that I could do without:

5) The Little Drummer Boy by the Harry Simeone Chorale. This is the original. Slow and dull. Dull and slow. An absolute dirge. Yes, I know, it’s a classic and the story and meaning behind the song are sacred. I love other takes on it, but not this one.

4) War is Over by John Lennon. Irving Berlin it’s not. And I’m a Lennon and Beatles fan.

3) Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas by the Pretenders. The vocal is dreadful, the music funeral parlor-like. How to murder a classic.

2) Same auld lang syne by Dan Fogelberg

“Met my old lover in the grocery store
The snow was falling Christmas Eve
I Stole behind her in the frozen foods
and I touched her on the sleeve
She didn't recognize the face at first
but then her eyes flew open wide
She went to hug me and she spilled her purse
and we laughed until we cried
We Took her groceries to the checkout stand
The food was totaled up and bagged
We stood there lost in our embarrassment
as the conversation dragged
Went to have ourselves a drink or two
but couldn't find an open bar
Bought a six-pack at the liquor store
and we drank it in her car”

What garbage!

And the worst Christmas song ever…

1) The Christmas Shoes by Newsong

Just the kind of holiday song I want to hear, one about death.

This one never makes it through the first line on my radio. I’ll switch to anything else, even Joel McNally. I know people like it, even call in and request. Why? It’s so morbid. A God-awful recording.

The proper protocol on Thanksgiving

There are just certain rules that have to be followed on Turkey Day.
From the Etiquette Girls on

Thanksgiving Dinner Etiquette

Dear Reader, the Etiquette Grrls can think of nothing so Festive and All-American as a Lovely, Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner! (And, Dear Reader, the Etiquette Grrls are Experts on Things Festive and All-American, not to mention Things Lovely and Traditional.) We are aware, however, that for many of Our Peers, Thanksgiving Dinner may take place not at one's Ancestral Home, but at the home of a Dear Friend, or a Dear Friend's Parents, or, perhaps Most Nerve-Wrackingly of all, One's Petit(e) Ami(e)'s Parents. Everyone knows his or her own Family's Quirks and Traditions, yet, when one is a Guest at Thanksgiving Dinner, one will undoubtedly be exposed to Other People's Potential Wackiness. And of course, even in the midst of the Traditional Family Dinner From Hell, Dear Reader, you would not wish to be Rude. The Etiquette Grrls have thus compiled a helpful Guide to Thanksgiving Dinner, which should help alleviate your fears and allow you to Be Seated at any Thanksgiving Table with the Utmost Confidence and Decorum.

What You Should Wear

Of course, the Dress Code for any event is the decision of the Hostess. However, the Etiquette Grrls can understand, Dear Reader, that you may not get any Dress Code Guidance from your Hostess. We have, upon occasion, been told by Dear Friends whose Homes we were visiting, "Oh, just wear anything, my Mother won't care." Anything? Should the Etiquette Grrls show up in Ballgowns and Mink Stoles? Might we, if we owned Sweatpants and made a habit of wearing Tennis Shoes for Non-Athletic Activity, show up in Gym Attire? Please, Dear Reader, if you are Bringing Friends Home for Thanksgiving, clue them in about How Dressed-Up your family gets!

On-Time Arrival

First, although the Etiquette Grrls know many of our Dear Readers will be traveling Vast Distances to arrive at the Holiday Table, this does not give anyone license to be grumpy, moody, or snippy upon arrival. Yes, of course I-95 was a Sleet-Covered Stretch of Hell and it took an hour and a half to go from New Haven to Westport. No, no one wants to discuss this at length. And please do, Dear Reader, make Every Effort to leave Early Enough so that you will actually Arrive When You Are Supposed To! Otherwise, your Hostess will be Quite Flummoxed. (And as anyone who has been a Hostess for Thanksgiving will tell you, preparing a Big Turkey is Stressful Enough, thank you.) Also, of course, you should Bring a Little Something for your Hostess. A bottle of Good Wine is always nice, but really, any nice little present will do.

"Weird" Thanksgiving Foods, Etc.

The Etiquette Grrls have Heard Talk of homes where Traditional Holiday Meals are Non-Existent. While we do appreciate Originality (and have, ourselves, Made the Departure from the Sit-Down Turkey Dinner), we believe that anyone planning to Branch Out should Make This Matter Known when the Invitations are Issued. Just because you, Dear Reader, have Gone Vegan, is no reason to surprise all your Hungry Guests, to whom, in previous years, you served a Traditional Meal, with something called "Tofurkey." (Which, frighteningly enough, the EGs are Not Making Up.) If you plan on Replicating Down to the Most Minute Detail the Pilgrims' Thanksgiving Feast, you should, similarly, Warn Your Guests, who might be Un Peu Surprised to find Salt Cod on their Plates.

Dear Reader, should you Find Yourself at a Thanksgiving Dinner at which Any of the Above Crimes are Perpetrated, you must still try to Be a Good Guest and Attempt to Eat What You Are Served. Even if it is Wasabi-Brushed Coconut Turkey Kebabs. Be Polite, and know that next year, you'll have Quite the Horror Story to Tell.

Behaving Yourself at the Table

Of course, all Normal Rules of Table Manners apply. Get your elbows off the table, use your fork and knife properly, don't drink from the Finger Bowls, etc. If the food is Passed Around, take a small portion of dishes that appeal to you and offer the platter or bowl to the person seated beside you. Do not, upon spotting Butternut Squash prepared Just the Way You Like It, reach across the table, grab the bowl, and plop a Mountain of it onto Your Plate, whilst yelling, "YES! THE SQUASH IS ALL MINE, AND NO ONE ELSE CAN HAVE ANY!" If you have a preference for a particular kind of turkey meat, that is all well and good, but do wait until the platter reaches you or until the person serving asks you if you would like white or dark meat. You are not allowed to "place dibs" on a Drumstick, and, should you not get one, you are most definitely not allowed to Sulk or become Surly.

Thanksgiving Sports

For some reason, on the afternoon of Thanksgiving Day, practically every family in America goes all Kennedy Clan Wanna-Be and plays Touch Football on the Lawn. The Etiquette Grrls think this is probably All Well and Good, as long as the Sporting Types are Polite About Their Games. First, you are not allowed to Force People to Play in order to "Make the Teams Even," particularly if the people in question are Elderly, Infirm, or Girls Wearing Nice Clothing. The Etiquette Grrls are Perfectly Content to Sip Some Hot Chocolate on the Porch and Watch, but when we say we don't want to play, We Mean It. Also, those participating in any Thanksgiving Sports absolutely must endeavor to remember that they are not Professional Athletes, and should not Behave As Such, particularly on a Holiday. No attempting to Crush the Other Team's Spirit, no Ridiculous Dances when you Score, no Trash-Talking, and no Tantrums when you Lose. If there are House Rules about Touch Football (or, indeed, any other Game you might play), you are obliged to Make Sure Guests Understand Them.

Here's the entire piece.

I would add that it is not acceptable for a guy to loosen his belt and unzip his pants after the huge meal.

Just let that happen naturally. 

Recommended Thanksgiving reading

Many columnists and bloggers will write about Thanksgiving in the days ahead. Here are two pieces I’d like to share.

John Andrews writes:

“The premise of Thanksgiving itself, recognition of God, has many a doubter nowadays. Won’t the thankfulness feel a little forced this year?

Actually, to the grateful Americans, it won’t. We recall the pauper who could smile though he had no shoes – for he knew a man who had no feet. The unimaginably affluent Uncle Sam is hardly barefoot, recession or not. Our resilience and resourcefulness that made the last boom will make the next one. Till then, our communal concern will relieve the hardest-hit. Our Pilgrim heritage is self-reliance and mutual help, not self-pity and blame.”

And Terry Paulson has an interesting roundup of notable quotable Thanksgiving reflections.

I hope these columns begin to get you, if you're not already, in the Thanksgiving mood.


Doppler radar shows the strong blog blizzard that blew onto FranklinNOW shortly after 10:00 has moved out of the area and is no longer considered a hazard to your attempt to finally get to bed and get some slepp. However, the editors of this site warn that an eruption of future blogging could occur unpredictably at amy time.


If you want to prevent a disaster this holiday, I strongly urge you to read this very carefully. It's for your own good.

This is serious stuff (ing).

J. Gravelle's life is about to change

J. Gravelle of The Daily Scoff, who guest blogs for me when I’m away, was recently named to be one of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s community columnists. Good for him. The distinction is well-deserved. Gravelle is intelligent, a fine writer with a wicked sense of humor.

Because Gravelle is now on a much bigger stage, his profile naturally gets greater exposure. That’s good, but with good comes the bad.

There’s already some backlash simply because Gravelle occasionally writes on my blog. It’s called guilt by association. Here in Franklin, it works like this:

Some bloggers think Franklin Alderman Steve Olson is a jerk.  Yours truly happens to like and respect Olson. Therefore, well……….you figure it out. Boy, that’s some super solid logic, yesiree.

It was brought to my attention that one local blogger inexplicably decided to remove The Daily Scoff from her blogroll right about the time I allowed Gravelle to be my guest blogger for a week. Can you say, “petty?”

Oh, I bet ol’ J. is losing tons of sleep over that. Why, he’ll actually lose a whole ZERO readers.

But there’s a larger issue and the real reason I write. Conservative/libertarian J. Gravelle’s work will now be featured in the largest newspaper in the state. Those of his ilk will love his stuff, but readers rarely write in with positive feedback. So he’s about to get beat up.

Lefties will slam him every time his pieces are printed. That’s fair, of course, in our wonderful land of free speech. But Gravelle’s larger profile means he will also be subject to personal attacks and hate mail. Trust me, it’s bound to happen.

I believe Gravelle has enough thick skin that he’ll be more than equipped to handle any verbal bludgeoning. Again, good for him.

Of course, we really don’t know when we’ll see Gravelle featured in the big daily. He’s submitted one column, but it’s been rejected.

Interesting. Gravelle’s first entry gets shot down from the same paper that prints stuff like:


And this.

And then there’s always this guy who has done so much for race relations in Milwaukee.

Who knows? Gravelle might get turned down again. My guess is he’ll get over it, just like that blogroll.

Too stupid to vote

In several blogs, I have made the case that it’s best that certain people don’t vote.  Why?  To put it bluntly, they’re not too bright.

Ideally, fewer people, those who have actually studied and researched candidates and issues should vote.  That may be a minority view, but it’s the correct view.

Kathleen Parker writes in the Washington Post about an Intercollegiate Studies Institute (ISI) report on what our country’s citizens know about civics.  Parker says the report, “finds that most Americans are too ignorant to vote.”

The findings, according to Parker, are embarrassing:

“Out of 2,500 American quiz-takers, including college students, elected officials and other randomly selected citizens, nearly 1,800 flunked a 33-question test on basic civics. In fact, elected officials scored slightly lower than the general public with an average score of 44 percent compared to 49 percent. Only 0.8 percent of all test-takers scored an "A."

The ISI offers some solutions, including reading more newspapers and blogging because blogging supposedly makes you wiser.

Bottom line: the report is stunning, but not surprising.

Here’s Parker’s column.

See how you do on the quiz.,, McCain....wait a minute...

During the recent marathon Presidential campaign, I made it clear that I simply couldn’t understand, with the constant daily barrage of information about the candidates, that many voters almost up to Election Day couldn’t make up their minds.

I never blogged about another category of voter: The waffler, the flip-flopper.

This voter changes his/her mind, back and forth about who to vote for, a lot.

Apparently, there were a lot of wafflers.

They won't be happy until we get rid of all holidays

I'm talking about the PC crowd.

Now it's offensive and demeaning to dress up like a Pilgrim or Native American.

Make sure you listen to WOKY Thursday

WOKY will spend the entire day playing all the great classic Thanksgiving songs.

Well, they would, if they could.


I do like this comedy bit, though, from political satirist Stan Freberg, whose best work was in the early 60’s. Freberg wrote and sang this gem that would cause heart attacks today.

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Irving Berlin and Macy's

My wife, Jennifer and I will have the Macy's Parade on TV Thanksgiving morning. The floats and balloons are still interesting. At the risk of a fogey alert, the contemporary music acts are pretty bad.

We do like the Broadway skits. Watch Thursday for the cast from White Christmas.

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The not-so-happy holidays

There is no perfect holiday. Everyone has a story about a situation, whether it be family-related, the loss of a job, or the death of a loved one that can make the holidays less merry.

This year, I lost a cousin to brain cancer. Last week, a former colleague of mine at the state Capitol died of brain cancer. He left a wife and two sons. He was 38.

This week, one of my wife’s co-workers arrived home to find her husband dead from a heart attack on their garage floor. And a good friend’s daughter-in-law, whom I have blogged about, Angie, continues to fight cancer. She’s endured a double mastectomy and now is battling brain and spinal problems.

There is no good time for all of this. But now is the worst.The obvious question is why? I don’t claim to know the answer. I suppose there is magic in the phrase, “Count your blessings.”

Another question is how, how do you cope, especially at this time of year with the loss of someone dear and special. The ever-accessible Internet  just might be of some help.

On this Thanksgiving Day, I really hope...

You don't have to call the Butterball Hotline.

Have a disaster-free holiday!

Bet you didn't know...

November is National Vegan Month.

Who in the world thought that was a brilliant idea?


Why Thanksgiving is highly unusual

Today, a rarity will take place in homes all across America.

Families will gather, and sit down, and dine, as a group, together, all at the very same time.

That doesn’t happen very often in a country inhabited by residents constantly on the go.

Today’s holiday is conducive for a family get-together. Thanksgiving is more relaxed than Christmas. There’s less jumping around, no ripping open boxes, not as much excitement.

A perfect setting for a nice, family sit-down.
 A 2006 study by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University titled: The Importance of Family Dinners III, notes the importance of family mealtimes in developing and maintaining a healthy family.

This is timely and important reading on this Thanksgiving Day, the opening statement for the study made by CASA Chairman and President, Joseph A. Califano, Jr.

Accompanying Statement by Joseph A. Califano, Jr., Chairman and President

"For 11 years, CASA has been conducting a back to school survey of the attitudes of teens and those, like parents, who most influence them. While other surveys seek to measure the extent of substance abuse in the population, the CASA back to school survey probes substance abuse risk and identifies factors that increase or diminish the likelihood that teens will smoke, drink or use illegal drugs. We believe that parents, armed with this knowledge, can help their teens grow up drug free.

This nation’s drug problem is all about kids. A child who gets through age 21 without smoking, abusing alcohol or using illegal drugs is virtually certain never to do so. And no one has more power to prevent kids from using substances than parents. There are no silver bullets; unfortunately, the tragedy of a child’s substance abuse can strike any family. But one factor that does more to reduce teens’ substance abuse risk than almost any other is parental engagement, and one of the simplest and most effective ways for parents to be engaged in teens’ lives is by having frequent family dinners.

This year’s survey findings underscore the significance of family dinners as a surrogate for parental engagement. Parents who sit down to dinner five or more times a week with their children are parents who are very involved in their kids’ lives. In this day and age, with the high incidence of two-income families and single-parent households, and the increasing demands on kids’ time from school and other activities, it is not an easy task to get the whole family together at the dinner table. Those families that make family togetherness a priority are achieving a level of involvement in their children’s lives that has a healthy impact on their kids. The parents who make dinners a priority are also, as this year’s survey findings demonstrate, likelier to say they take responsibility for preventing their kids from abusing substances.

Family Dinners and Parental Involvement in Kids’ Lives

Compared to parents who report having frequent family dinners (five or more per week), parents who say they have infrequent family dinners (fewer than three per week) are:  
• five times likelier to say they have a fair or poor relationship with their teen;            
• one and a half times likelier to say they know the parents of their teen’s friends not very well or not at all;            
• more than twice as likely to say they do not know the names of their teen’s teachers; and            
• twice as likely to say that parents deserve not very much blame or no blame at all when a teenager uses illegal drugs.  

More than a decade of surveying teens has taught us that parents can significantly reduce their childrens’ risk of using substances by knowing their teen’s friends and the parents of their friends, being engaged at their kid’s school, and chaperoning their teen’s parties, among other things. The remarkable thing about family dinners is that those parents who make it a habit to have frequent dinners with their children are also the parents who are taking these actions that have a major impact on teen substance abuse risk.    

Family Dinners and Teen Smoking, Drinking and Drug Use

CASA research has consistently shown that the more often teens have dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink or use drugs. This report, The Importance of Family Dinners III, which draws from the results of CASA’s 11th annual back to school survey, finds that, compared to teens who have five or more family dinners per week, teens who have two or less are:            

• more than twice as likely to have tried cigarettes;            
• one and a half times likelier to have tried alcohol; and            
• twice as likely to have tried marijuana.  

This year we also examined the relationship between family dinners and rates of current smoking and drinking among teens. Compared to teens who have frequent family dinners, those who have infrequent family dinners are:           

• twice as likely to say they smoke at least one cigarette a day; and            
• more than twice as likely to say they get drunk at least once a month.  

Frequency of Family Dinners

This year, 58 percent of teens report having dinner with their family at least five times a week, the same proportion as we have observed over the past several years. Among families that have infrequent family dinners, parents and teens do not always agree on the reasons why dinners are not more frequent:            

• The reason most commonly given by teens for why family dinners are not more frequent is because parents work late.            
• The reason most commonly given by parents is “conflicting schedules.”  More than one in five parents and teens say they are “too busy” to have dinner together more often. Given the importance of frequent family dinners and the powerful impact parental engagement has in preventing teen substance abuse, families should identify and work to overcome the barriers to frequent family dining. Late work hours, after-school activities and long commutes all come at the expense of valuable family time.

This survey and our prior studies on the subject show a number of important benefits of frequent family dining. For instance, kids who have frequent family dinners are half as likely to smoke cigarettes and marijuana, and one-third less likely to drink alcohol. Teens who dine frequently with their parents are likelier to have parents who take responsibility for teen drug use, and they are 40 percent likelier to say future drug use will never happen.

If I could wave a magic wand to make a dent in the substance abuse problem, I would make sure that every child in America had dinner with his or her parents at least five times a week. There is no more important thing a parent can do. Parental engagement in children’s lives is key to ridding our nation of the scourge of substance abuse."

Bon appetit, America!

A new reason for me to be thankful

On this Thanksgiving Day, I am thankful for the following:

The brave young men and women in our military who valiantly serve and defend our country.

All of the liberties and freedom we enjoy in this, the greatest country in the world. Many downgrade our great nation, but I don’t see them jumping on a plane to leave.

Liberals. They make my job so much easier.

“Another day on this side of the grass.” Al McGuire once told me that was a victory.

Good health. No, I’m not 18 anymore, and I miss those past Thanksgiving’s when my friends Ramero and Brian would play touch football before the big feast. But I’m not six-feet under yet. Not by a long shot. (Sorry, libs)

State Senator Mary Lazich. Mary is not just my Senator or my boss. She is my colleague and my very good friend. More so than just about anyone, I know and see how hard she works for her constituents and Senate district. I wish there were more like her in the state Senate.

Mark Maley and Jeanne Weiland, the folks who run this website. They’re great people, and I’m grateful for the opportunity they gave me  to blog.

Everyone at WISN, especially Program Director Jerry Bott. Another year of filling in at Newstalk1130 WISN. I really enjoy it.

You, the readers of my blog. I know a lot of you disagree. Heck, I know some of you flat out don’t like me. That’s ok. The world would be a pretty dull place if we all sang from the same hymnal. Keep reading, everybody.

My faith. It keeps me getting up every Sunday and driving to my old neighborhood to usher at a church in a neighborhood riddled with gangs and crime.

Memories. As mentioned, I’m not 18 anymore. That means I have a decent-sized lifetime of great thoughts, stories, and recollections. Because I treasure them, I write about them. My youth may be gone, but those wonderful memories never leave.

Friends. Too many to mention. You know who you are, and you mean a great deal to me.

My mother. The sweetest person I know. The sweetest person ever.

My brother and his family. My brother (his name is Greg by the way) isn’t like me at all. He’s really nice.

My wife, Jennifer. God’s blessing to this very lucky man. I’ve been blessed having been happy almost my entire life. But Jennifer has made me happier than I’ve ever been. I thank her for coming into my life.

I am especially thankful this year for the first child Jennifer and I are happily, anxiously awaiting this April. I’ve not blogged about our baby since I announced Jennifer was pregnant, and I know that this is old hat for many of you, but for me, it’s an entirely brand new experience. Last week, Jennifer and I were at her second ultrasound that was incredibly amazing. We both thank God for this miracle of life and the beautiful angel soon to come.

I hope you have many reasons to be thankful today.

Happy Thanksgiving!

When the doors open, how many will be there?

I'm sure there will be some folks who just can't wait, and will be on hand  when the "ain't what it used to be" Southridge opens at midnight tonight. Will you?

Seems there might be a change in attitude about malls.

It's lousy football, but it's Thanksgiving football

There used to be a time when visiting football teams travelled to Detroit on Thanksgiving Day with no guarantee, despite the win-los records, about what the outcome would be.

1962: One of the greatest teams in Green Bay Packer history got absolutely mauled on Thanksgiving by the ferocious Lion’s pass rush. Poor, defenseless Bart Starr got sacked 11 times. Lions 26, Packers 14. It was the only loss of the year for the ultimate champion Packers.

The game is still talked about today. But that was 1962. The Lions of 2008 are the laughingstock of the NFL, with everyone predicating an 0-16 season for the Motor City.

Detroit against possibly the best team in football today, the Tennessee Titans.

But it’s still football….on Thanksgiving….in Detroit.


Yes, you can be thankful when times get tough

One could write a page full of reasons to be pessimistic and downright gloomy on this Thanksgiving.  That’s undeniable.

How about some inspirational, spiritual thoughts? We forget this is a holiday with religious roots.

Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC. He writes:

“There is a temptation to worry obsessively about our financial plight. But this temptation betrays too great a reliance on self. God knows our needs and He cares for us. The Gospel of Luke assures us that God cares for the birds of the air, the lilies, and the grass of the field and that we are more valuable to Him than they (Luke 12). He assures us that he will provide for us if we will but seek his kingdom. In good times and bad, he exhorts us to place our confidence not in ourselves but in him. We, of course, have a duty to make wise, careful decisions, but we will not add ‘a single hour’ to our lives by worrying. (Luke 12:25 NIV) We have better things to do with our energy. Worry helps no one and harms our souls.”

I believe the contemporary  words of wisdom would be, “Don’t worry, be happy,” and “Life is too short…”

It’s a nice piece.

UPDATE: Who's afraid of Christmas? Try PBS

A few weeks ago, when I walked into Milwaukee Public Television for the weekly taping of InterCHANGE, Ellis Bromberg, the (hold onto your hats) General Manager of
Milwaukee Public Television – MPTV/WMVS-10-HD/WMVT-36-Digital/MPTV World/MPTV V-Me/MPTV Create/MPTV Classical/MPTV Jazz/MPTV Weather/MPTV Traffic/MPTV On Demand was there to meet me at the door.

That never happens.

Bromberg was grinning from ear to ear.

After exchanging the obligatory salutations, Bromberg, still smiling said, “I told you I would keep my word!”

Rewind the clock to last December. I chastised the local PBS affiliate for not scheduling a public TV holiday special, “The Birth of Christ.”

Before continuing, please read my blog from last year for the proper background.


I talked about this while filling in on Newstalk 1130 WISN last year. Bromberg heard the segment and saw me soon after, promising that “The Birth of Christ” would be scheduled in 2008.

Bromberg is indeed, a man of his word. No wonder his smile was so wide. Bromberg informed me that “The Birth of Christ” will be just one of many holiday specials this season on MPTV.

An MPTV press release reports:

Tuesday, December 23


An inspiring musical celebration brings the Christmas story to life as never before. Filmed August 2006 at Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland, this concert brings together a groundbreaking chorus made up of Catholic and Protestant singers who put aside their sectarian differences and raise their voices in unity and peace around the central mystery of their faith. The singers reveal the humanity and passion of the Nativity story's timeless characters, Mary, Joseph, Elizabeth and the Shepherds, in a moving Christmas cantata. Actor Liam Neeson narrates "Luke's Nativity" between songs. (55 minutes)
Premieres on MPTV-36 at 9pm

When I discussed this topic on WISN last year, I said that I have a great relationship with the station and its staff and that I was not suggesting viewers call and complain. But some did.

So, if you were one of those callers, or if you welcome this addition to MPTV’s holiday schedule, I am now urging you to call MPTV and gratefully express your thanks and appreciation. Call (414) 271-1036, or leave a comment here.

I just love a story with a happy ending, don’t you?

On a side note, I am NOT surprised “The Birth of Christ” didn’t make it today into the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s roundup of TV holiday specials.

Remember on Friday...

I fill in for Mark Belling on WISN from 3-6. At this point, my program agenda is up in the air, but I may talk about a subject I’ve blogged about in the past: Anonymous bloggers and people who use false identities, pretending to be someone they’re not to comment on blogs.

The charming, witty, and talented J. Gravelle fills in on my blog throughout the day.

Then it’s the weekend with our regular popular features: Week-ends and The Barking Lot on Saturday, and Photos of the Week, My Most Popular Blogs, and Culinary no-no on Sunday.

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

I Don't Know How to "Bell"...

.....but Kev does.

Whenever he fills in on WISN, Kevin drops me a note saying "I'll be Belling on _(date)_."

He's ostensibly turned Mark Belling's last name into a verb, which I suppose, makes him a "Beller."

Let's hope he never fills in for Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk.

- J. Gravellle

Gravelle is Fisching today. Or is it Fischering?


Did'ja Thank Your Ancestors?

It's a holiday weekend, so you'll excuse me for dusting off this Fox6 Political Featured posting from Thanksgiving 2007 instead of doing any real heavy lifting today.

Okay, even if you WON'T excuse me, I'ma do it anyway.  Here's an excerpt:

I'm thankful that my Irish ancestors never marched downtown anywhere waving the flag of Ireland and demanding bi-lingual education. If they did, I might be speaking in the Gaelic tongue today. Frankly, I don't even like the phrase "Gaelic tongue". It reminds me too much of my early years living on Milwaukee's east side. Note to young men new to the area: don't sunbathe alone in Juneau Park. Just... don't.

I'm thankful that my French ancestors never marched downtown anywhere waving the flag of France. They might have met up with my Irish ancestors, and joined forces. The next thing you know, we've got a hybrid of Bastille and St. Patrick's Days on the calendar. You don't want to mix the two. You'd have bus loads of drunken party-goers either surrendering themselves to the authorities in Germantown or ravishing area potato farms.

I'm thankful my ancestors on both sides abandoned their native cultures and became practicing members of the American society, taking only the pride and recognition of their heritage with them. I'm glad there are no French or Irish-speaking sections of metro-Milwaukee where my relatives and I could have isolated ourselves from the English-speaking mainstream of American life, fostering a climate of anti-social hostility through self-imposed segregation, and producing generation after generation of English-illiterate children whose best survival option would entail joining one of the notorious Franco-Erin street gangs easily recognized by their signature berets and matching gold-buckled shoes. I shudder at the thought of these corkscrew and shillelagh-wielding thugs recruiting my children into their circle of societally disconnected malcontents, even though I'm not really certain what a shillelagh is.

I'm thankful my Celtic ancestors have forgiven the Romans and Gauls for enslaving them, and haven't clung to history as an excuse for my family's succeeding generations to fail. As much as I'd reeeeeeally like to blame all the cr*p I pulled in my twenties on western Europeans, I'm pretty sure that me being a loser was my fault, and not due to the suffering of my greater-grandparents at the hands of Petronius Maximus. If I couldn't let it go, it'd make Italian-fest uncomfortable, not to mention all the time I'd waste going from booth to booth demanding free MalOcchio pendants as reparations for the suffering of my people.

Lastly, I'm thankful for you, the faithful reader of my weekly diatribes, without whom I'd-- I'd um-- okay, to be honest, I'm pretty wrapped up in myself, so I might not even notice. Except that maybe there'd be fewer emailed death threats. That'd be nice.

I'd definitely be thankful for that.

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving everybody...

J. Gravelle

Gravelle is also thankful for the chance to play in Mr. Fischer's online sandbox from time to time

Survival in a Lousy Economy

Back at the turn of the 21st century, I was an I.T. guy working in financial services.  Then came the "dot bomb" and ensuing market crash.

Both my sector AND my profession went bust simultaneously.  In essence, I found myself on a sinking ship with a cement life preserver.  I literally went from riding in town cars on Wall Street wearing a three piece suit, to driving a tow truck in the inner-city wearing overalls in a matter of a few months.

But not everybody in my sector was hit hard, nor was everybody with my skill set.  My biggest problem was that I hadn't diversified myself enough to adapt to the rapidly changing business and technical climates.

There's little as motivating as lying under a rusty Plymouth on the thin shoulder of the interstate with semis rumbling past a few feet from your head.  Since then, I've gotten back into the computing arena while keeping a keen eye on the health and status of various sectors, and knowing what sorts of skills become critical in hard times.  I am confident that I have learned what it takes to navigate the turmoil ahead, and I'm happy to share that knowledge with you now.  You don't have to be a computer geek to get something out of this advice.

First off, understand that a downturn means everybody has to learn to do more with less.  That goes for businesses, too.

No matter what your field, keep track of any way(s) you've come up with to improve efficiency.  If you've devised ways of doing things faster, better, and/or cheaper, don't keep it to yourself.  Make note of it for the future, and make mention of it when the opportunity arises.

As an example, I'm often asked to automate processes, or consolidate data into reports for clients ("analytics" and "metrics").  Often, these processes and reports were being done manually by several people per company, usurping weeks of man-hours per year.  It's not enough that I deliver the requested applications or numbers.  I need to also emphasize the savings to the client.  Companies see this as a "cost-benefit" relationship, and it's vital.  If you're saving a company more than you cost them, they can't afford NOT to use your services.  But it's up to YOU to be able to demonstrate that sort of value.

Secondly, some skills increase in demand (and in some cases, entire businesses thrive) in bad economies. has a great report, broken down by region and employment type, entitled:  The Top 25 Most Recession-Proof U.S. Job Candidates available here.

It's not all nursing and computer programming either.  There are a wide range of skills that will remain (or emerge) in demand.  Know what the opportunities will be, and allow yourself the flexibility to move into those types of roles.  Which brings me to diversity.

Appreciate the wide scope of your own existing skills.  If you're "just" a short-order cook, assess what your job entails in its entirety.  Are you asked to keep an eye on the perishables and submit new orders when a certain foodstock runs low?  Then your experience goes beyond "cook", and includes inventory control and management, ordering and receiving, and even vendor relations in the "restaurant and food services sector".  Don't define yourself too narrowly.

Finally, take every opportunity at self-promotion.  As an entirely hypothetical example, you could find a popular online forum and perhaps surreptitiously find a way to let lots of people know that your current contract is up at the end of the year, and as such you are happily inviting inquiries from potential client companies interested in procuring your services.  Try and let them know that you're anxious to put your track record of six-figure cost savings to work for them in the uncertain months ahead, and that having you on their team will give them a critical advantage in any type of market.

Oh, and be certain to end your message with a blatantly self-serving signature that includes your contact information.

Like this:

J. Gravelle
Sr. .NET Software/Services Developer
Retail & B2B Pharma/Health - Financial Services - Manufacturing and more

Gravelle prides himself on his subtlety

Thank you again, J.Gravelle

I appreciate your guest blogs today. Seems there's no tar and feather crowd this time. Must be that holiday spirit, but with who? J. or  the readers?

J. will return to This Just In before the end of 2008.

Store windows in downtown Milwaukee: Oh, is it Christmas?

During my fill-in stint for Mark Belling today at WISN, one of our segments dealt with why people no longer like to shop at large indoor malls. One woman said the malls lack the holiday feeling. She particularly was saddened by the lack of holiday window displays in downtown MIlwaukee. They've been just about non-existent. Not so in New York. Here are some pictures from the New York Times:

Lord and Taylor

Gingerbread houses are part of the Victorian-themed display at Lord & Taylor this year. (Photo: Lia Chang/Lord & Taylor)



The Macy’s holiday window uses playful language. (Photo: Jennifer 8. Lee/The New York Times)


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The Barking Lot

The Barking Lot

THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.

TODAY:  Mostly sunny, dry and seasonal.  "C"

SUNDAY:  Cold and snowy. "F"

“Santa Baby, forgot to mention one little thing… a ring… I don’t mean on the phone…” 

That is my FAVORITE line in the Eartha Kitt classic “Santa Baby.”  You can NEVER go wrong giving bling as a gift.  Repeat to all my male readers:  You can NEVER go wrong giving bling as a gift. 

I know what everyone is thinking:  Even with my life rapidly changing as my April due date approaches, surely the thing I want most for Christmas is fur.  (I don’t mean in a coat, Santa Baby.)  But you’re WRONG. 

Of course I want a dog.  Make that dogs… plural.  And all in good time we will have them.  But I would never ask for, and most certainly never receive, a dog for Christmas.

In the coming weeks you will hear on local news stations and read newspaper articles about the dangers of giving pets as presents.  The ridiculous flip side of this is you will probably also hear commercials from pet stores telling you how wonderful it would be if Suzie or Johnny found a puppy under the tree this Christmas.

This SHOULD be a practical, no-brainer kind of decision.  But for some people they really think they’re giving the best gift ever by putting a red ribbon around the neck of an adorable puppy and handing it off. 

For some practical advice if you’re even THINKING this is a good idea for a friend or family member, read this. 

Well, I guess Kevin is REALLY off the hook this year.  I’ve just told everyone that giving a puppy as a Christmas gift is even a worse idea than giving a replica of The Christmas Story “Leg Lamp.”  So, no dog for me under the tree.  And since I already have more bling than I can handle with my beautiful wedding ring, well…  But come to think of it I never mentioned that THESE were silly or frivolous.
---Jennifer Fischer

OK, I better make a note of this. On 11/29/08, Jennifer said she has enough bling. I'm so glad Tiffany's has a wonderful return policy.

Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.

Stray dogs are in danger in Iraq.

The Humane Society is suing retailers and designers over their claims of fake fur.

Controversial film about a German shepherd is released on DVD.

John Travolta brings out his inner dog in the the new Disney film, "Bolt."

Uno is one busy beagle.

Enjoy your retirement, Shiloh!

Want to adopt a dog? Try Kenosha.

And here's a Thanksgiving message from the SPCA:

SPCA International

Give Thanks for the Animals

Dear Friends,

Read more



A look back at the people and events that made news the past week.
Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of This Just In...


LA-area residents

Trevor Thomas


Wisconsin Dells police


Gunmen in Mumbai

Lori Drew

New York shoppers

Wisconsin Dells police

Florida bandit


"I'd like to be a president [known] as somebody who liberated 50 million people and helped achieve peace.  I would like to be a person remembered as a person who, first and foremost, did not sell his soul in order to accommodate the political process.  I came to Washington with a set of values, and I'm leaving with the same set of values. And I darn sure wasn't going to sacrifice those values; that I was a president that had to make tough choices and was willing to make them. I surrounded myself with good people. I carefully considered the advice of smart, capable people and made tough decisions."
President Bush in a conversation with his sister, Dorothy Bush Koch, recorded for the oral-history organization StoryCorps for the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. An excerpt of the interview was aired on National Public Radio Thursday, and the White House released additional excerpts. 

"The only way you start dealing with this size deficit is there are going to be real consequences for schools and universities and for local governments."
Governor Doyle in an interview with the Green Bay Press Gazette editorial board on the state budget deficit. Doyle says the deficit is $5.4 billion. Some say he's inflating the numbers for political purposes.

"I haven't seen a single issue in the last 20 years that has had such a chilling impact on decisions to expand in Milwaukee or decisions to move to Milwaukee."
Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce President Tim Sheehy said businesses are already reconsidering decisions to expand in or move to Milwaukee in light of a paid sick day requirement scheduled to take effect in February.
Sheehy said he received two calls from business owners who said they decided to abandon efforts to seek space in Milwaukee due to the sick pay requirement.

“There’s one example that I successfully used to sell our members on toll roads at the border. Since the indexing repeal, the residents of Wisconsin are left to try and make up some of the transportation trust shortfalls, while the Illinois resident sees no further increase as they drive their (sport-utility vehicle) to their cabin in Minocqua with a couple of (all-terrain vehicles) in tow. Residents are going to have to get used to the idea,”
Terrence McGowan, business manager for Operating Engineers Local 139, said it’s time for Wisconsin to get serious about tolls.

“The benefit of carrying concealed weapons on campus is the same as it is anywhere else where people carry concealed: self-defense."
David Burnett, board member at large for Students for Concealed Carry on Campus. Student groups supporting the right to carry concealed weapons on campus are preparing to push for legislation in their favor when state governments reconvene in January.


1) Wisconsin Dells police...see VILLAINS OF THE WEEK

2) Gift certificates for abortions


Is Wisconsin once again becoming a welfare magnet?


The economy is so bad that fewer shoppers will be out and retailers will suffer. That's what we were told over and over again before the stampedes at the stores Friday.


Those really are some crappy ornaments.

Voodoo doll OK, if it has proper warning.

REMEMBER: Your suggestions/nominations for any of these categories every week are welcome, especially for HEROES OF THE WEEK. If you know of anyone in the community deserving of recognition, please e-mail me.

Recommended reading

Recommended reading

Here are, in my view, interesting, noteworthy columns and articles from the past week that I highly recommend:

Is lying about one’s identity on the Internet now a crime?

Obama's threat to Catholic hospitals

The death of logic

Bad economy will be wakeup call for 20-something's

Why permanent tax cuts are the best stimulus

Most Americans too stupid to vote

Five hard truths for RINO's

You have got to be kidding!

5 to 8 inches???!!!

UPDATE: Since I posted Saturday night, the warning has been revised to 6-10 inches. Nice.

Fixing the state budget: Here come the wacky solutions


In the previous legislative session in Madison, with Jim Doyle as governor and Democrats running the state Senate, Republicans who controlled the state Assembly served as the Legislature’s hockey goalie, deflecting one outrageous plan after another (Government-run health care, for one). Not anymore.

During my fill-in stint for Mark Belling Friday on Newstalk 1130 WISN, I asked callers to be Wisconsin legislators. The question was, “What would be the dumbest proposal you could make if you were a Wisconsin, emphasize Wisconsin lawmaker?"

I had two ideas that immediately jumped to mind, and while none of the many callers came up with them, they did suggest some beauties.

Income tax increase. Corporate tax increase. Property tax increases. Fee increases for cosmetology services. Expanding the sales tax.

One woman even facetiously said that since some in Madison think the taxpayers are a bottomless pit, the state should send all state resident flowers on their birthdays.

Bingo on all of those very bad proposals.

These astute listeners, each and every one of them, gave the segment the appropriate segue into the remainder of the discussion that hour. My two nominees for dumbest ideas a Wisconsin lawmaker could propose: an increase in the beer tax and instituting toll roads. I then spent the rest of the segment focusing on the talk that has surfaced about the need for toll roads with the larger issue being that once the new session starts in January, Wisconsin will be flooded with all kinds of ill-advised ideas that ultimately will be harmful to taxpayers. Granted, nothing’s been drafted or introduced. We haven’t seen actual bills on anything so there hasn’t been any analysis performed by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau or Legislative Council. However, some ideas on the surface will always be damaging, especially tax and fee increases in one of the highest taxed states in the country that is already suffering a large budget deficit problem.

Be wary of legislators who say the state must find new sources of revenue. Translation: the state’s sly tax and spenders are putting their heads to together, devising even more cunning ways to separate you from your wallet.

Today, the Wisconsin State Journal lists some of the hair-brained ideas. That’s what happens, folks, when you put Democrats in charge of everything.

And if you’d like to hear any of the segments from my WISN program Friday, click on Mark Belling here. The podcast will be available until late Monday afternoon.

My most popular blogs

Most popular

As I post every Sunday, here are the top five most popular of my blog entries from the previous week:

1) Photos of the Week (11/23/08)

2) Recommended reading (11/22/08)

3) 7% don't say?

4) Culinary no-no #88

5) Irving Berlin and Macy's

Photos of the Week (11/30/08)

Photos of the Week


President George W. Bush greets soldiers after speaking to troops at Fort Campbell, Ky, .Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2008. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Bodies lie near the swimming pool of the Taj Mahal hotel after ...

Bodies lie near the swimming pool of the Taj Mahal hotel after shootings by unidentified assailants in Mumbai November 26, 2008. Elite Indian commandos fought room-to-room battles with Islamist militants inside two luxury hotels to save scores of people trapped or taken hostage, as the country's prime minister blamed neighbouring countries. Picture taken November 26, 2008. Reuters


APTOPIX India Shooting

An Indian soldier takes cover as the Taj Mahal hotel burns during gun battles between Indian military and militants inside the hotel in Mumbai, India, Saturday, Nov. 29, 2008. Indian commandos killed the last remaining gunmen holed up at the luxury Mumbai hotel Saturday, ending a 60-hour rampage through India's financial capital by suspected Islamic militants that rocked the nation. (AP Photo/David Guttenfelder)

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Sometime soon, maybe even today on This Just In...

I will be discussing this...

It's a magazine I can assure you I have never read or even glanced at (until now).

But I have some thoughts, later.

I don't want to hear it

And that is, how pretty it looks.

What did the Farmer's Almanac say?

Take a look.

Fire Leckrone?


Michael Leckrone has put the University of Wisconsin marching band on the map, developing it into one of the best and most popular university bands in the country. Anyone who’s been to a badger football, basketball, or hockey game or marching band concert knows how gifted Leckrone is and how he imparts his talent into hundreds of youth every year.

The UW Band has been in the news all fall, not because of its ability to perform Broadway medleys, but from news accounts of sophomoric behavior on the part of some who’ve engaged in moronic hazing of fellow band members. It’s possible some of these idiots, the future of America, actually voted on November 4th.

The editorial board of the Madison-based Wisconsin State Journal has employed the Harry Truman attitude of, “The buck stops here,” and is calling for Leckrone’s head. They editorialize:

“Either Leckrone gets the band to stop the senseless, repulsive hazing of younger members, or UW officials replace Leckrone with someone who can. It’s that simple.”

I don’t think so. While it’s true Leckrone is in charge, personal responsibility must come into play. Leckrone cannot serve as babysitter for hundreds of so-called young adults 24/7.  His job cannot be put on the line because some boneheads decided to get really stupid. The ones who are stupid should be held responsible and dropped immediately, from the band and possibly from school. The state is loaded with responsible young men and women who would love to attend UW-Madison. The hazers won’t be missed if shown the door and their spots will gladly be filled in no time.

Leckrone deserves more than a few benefits of the doubt given his long and highly commendable record of service. Threatening Leckrone with dismissal misses the point. The overwhelming majority of his students don’t act like they’re back in junior high. The UW Band has been an incredible ambassador for the school, thanks to Leckrone.

Let’s trash the talk about dumping Leckrone.

Do you feel any sympathy about this?


Of course I feel badly for the woman who had her holiday dinner ruined.

But c'mon. How dumb can you be, in this day and age, to leave a cooler filled with Thanksgiving food outside a home all night, just begging to be stolen?

I don't know, she looks pretty good to me

DISCLAIMER: The following blog contains images of famous women, some scantily-clad. If this offends you, go no further. Of course, if you do, you will miss out on a provocative commentary by yours truly. I might add that I am not a pig. But I'm also not a prude.

First, some background.

On Thanksgiving Day, Britney Spears turned in the first live performance of her current charttopping single “Womanizer” at the 2008 Bambi Media Awards in Offenburg, Germany.


This came a few months after she appeared on the August 2008 cover of OK Magazine.


Britney apparently had to explain to OK Magazine how she got her body back because her 2007 appearance at the MTV Video Music Awards set off a worldwide debate that Britney had gotten to be much too................


Spears looks lost as she performs at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards. Spears lost custody of her two children a month later on Oct. 1, 2007.

In September 2007, I blogged about my sincere sympathies for poor Britney who was under attack (did you look at her abdomen?) for being overweight:

"What’s laughable is that a lot of the criticism about Spears and her body are coming from other women.

Saying that Britney Spears is fat is like saying Shaquille O’Neal is a bit on the short side.

It’s ridiculous!

You show me any 25, 30, 40, or 50 year old woman that wouldn’t kill to have the body Britney Spears displayed at the awards show. How about women who’ve had a child or two or three. Think they don’t wish they were as “fat” as Britney?

Oh, it’s hilarious and downright entertaining to see one Hollywood gossip commentator after another bash obese Britney.






All of the above."

I delve into this tabloid territority because of the latest (December) issue of Shape Magazine that has country music star Faith Hill on the cover.



Is she too fat?

No one that I have found is making that ridiculous accusation. But someone is sure all bent out of shape about Shape's cover. And you can bet your house it's not a male.

Martha Brockenbrough writes for and she just can't believe that 41-year old Faith Hill can look this good. It's not possible. She must have had a whole lot of  help. She's rich so of course she just bought this great bod. Hard work on her part couldn't possibly be responsible.

Reminds me of the time back in March when FranklinNOW blogger Janet Evans and I had a mild disagreement about Priscilla Presley on Dancing With The Stars (make sure you read the comments section).

In what can only be described as petty jealousy, Brockenbrough is downright incredulous about Faith Hill's physique:

"If Faith Hill's abdomen looks that good after three kids without plastic surgery and a bit of Photoshopping, I'll eat my hat. (I could probably use the fiber anyway.)

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Culinary no-no #89

Culinary no-no's

Imagine a place that served the following:

Barbecue ribs, fried chicken, rib-eye steak, lobster tails, crab legs, roast turkey, stir-fry, cheeseburgers, fries, onion rings, egg rolls, breaded shrimp, buffalo wings, chili, crepes, pancakes, omelets, waffles, burritos, tacos, quesadillas, quiches, bacon, polish sausages, pulled pork, corned beef hash, milk shakes and smoothies.

There are pasta bars, salad bars, sandwich and wrap bars with workers dressed in black and white uniforms, hats and bow ties.

For dessert there’s carrot cake, triple chocolate cake, strawberry cheesecake, black forest chocolate cake, devil chocolate cake, banana nut cake, apple pie, cherry pie, chocolate and vanilla pudding, three types of cookies, three types of ice cream bars, cones and popsicles, and five flavors of Baskin-Robbins ice cream with all the fixings, including caramel and chocolate syrup, crushed nuts, whipped cream, and blueberry and strawberry toppings.

Are you in:

1) A posh country club

2) A commissary in a Forbes 500 company

3) An Ivy League school cafeteria

4) A federal penitentiary where convicted members of Congress are sent

The correct answer is none of the above.  You’re actually at a U.S. military base, Camp Speicher, Iraq where our soldiers, obviously, eat pretty well. That’s a sharp contrast to the days when our military had to settle for C-Rations....

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